The following is a blog entry created by Georges St. Pierre for RDS.ca
Last Saturday, I was able to retain my UFC welterweight title against Jon Fitch. I had said before the fight that he would be the toughest opponent I would have faced until now, and we got proof of that. I’ve never seen such a resilient athlete.
I am very pleased with my performance, but it wasn’t perfect. If I had to rate it from 1 to 10, I’d give it an 8.
What I appreciated the most about this battle is that I went five rounds. It’s the first time I’ve gone this far in a fight and it’s bringing me a lot of experience. It’s a contest that helped me grow, and will make a better fighter of me.
It should be mentioned that I didn’t find it hard to go an extra two rounds, as I am in very good physical shape. However, what I found particularly discouraging was Fitch’s determination. He is a true “Terminator”. As much as I tried to finish him off, he kept coming back. On at least two separate occasions, I was positive that he was completely unconscious, but each time he hit the ground, he got right back up.
Yves Lavigne Made The Right Calls
Quebecois referee Yves Lavigne officiated our fight and he did a very good job. A lot of referees would have ended the fight, and it would have been a bad call. It’s not like in boxing: the fact that you’ve managed to send your opponent to the canvas does not mean you’ve won the fight. Sometimes, he’s able to recover and come back, as was the case with Fitch.
On two or three occasions, I was sure that Lavigne was about to stop the fight, but Fitch stayed in the fight. I would have been happy if he’d ended it, but I must admit that it would have been a bad decision.
“It’s Going to be a Long Night”
When I rocked Fitch in the first round, I expended a lot of energy trying to finish the fight. That’s why the second round was a bit more uneventful, as I needed to recover. Let’s write that up as gained experience. It’s important to maintain a certain rhythm in a fight and to pace yourself. If you spend all your energy in one shot, your opponent may take advantage of this to get back at you.
As a matter of fact, I even got a bit worried when Fitch survived the first round. I said to myself “it’s going to be a long night”. I saw that he came to fight a war and it would not be easy.
What helps me a lot in this type of a fight is that I fight in a very methodical fashion. I always say that you can never be in complete control, but I try to be as much as possible. I fight against my opponent’s weaknesses, and not against his strengths. That way, I put all the odds on my side to win the fight and avoid nasty surprises.
I had a well planned-out strategy coming in against Fitch and I must admit that it worked like a charm.
I knew he would try to rush me. His goal was to make me back up.
My athletic qualities are my main assets. Since I have a good base in my techniques, he didn’t want me to impose my game in this fight. He wanted me to be on the defensive all the time and to do this, he needed me to be going backwards.
Since I thought I knew what he meant to do,my strategy was to stand and control the pace. However, if he decided to get too close to me, I’d take him down. That way, he’d have to worry about my striking attacks and my takedowns. He therefore would have to act prudently, which would have given me more space and allowed me to stand on my feet and strike. That’s what happened.
Facing BJ Penn?
Many state that my next opponent should be BJ Penn. Nothing has obviously been signed yet, but he is my number one challenger.
I believe he deserves a chance to challenge me for my title, but we’ll see what happens on that matter in the next few weeks.
Will my next fight be in Montreal? I deeply hope so…
In the course of the last week, UFC president Dana White indicated that he’d like to come back to Montreal before the end of the year. On my end, however, I don’t know if I’ll be stepping back into the Octagon before 2009.
I’ve fought four times in the last 12 months. I therefore need some rest. I like the life I lead, but I sometimes need to relax.
It’s not the fight as such that’s exhausting; it’s all the preparation that comes with it. I’ve made so many sacrifices to prepare myself. During training camps, I practically do not live anymore. It’s therefore on a psychological level that I need to recharge.
We’ll talk again once I get some news on my next fight.
Until next time.
Special thanks to Zaphod Beeblebrox for the translation