A two-division UFC champion and mixed martial arts legend has given his pick for UFC 246’s main event, Conor “Notorious” McGregor vs. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Georges St-Pierre, who is often referred to as GSP, is highly respected by fighters and fans from around the globe and is regarded as one of the greatest fighters ever.
On Tuesday, St-Pierre’s longtime trainer Firas Zahabi released a video on the Tristar Gym YouTube channel that featured a conversation between the two discussing the UFC 246 matchup. GSP gave his take on how Cowboy and McGregor stack up as well as his opinion on who he believes will ultimately get their hand raised.
Here is the video:
It starts with Zahabi asking St-Pierre a direct question: “Georgie, who do you got?”
St-Pierre doesn’t give one name. He says both names, but under different circumstances. GSP believes that if the bout is short, the match is McGregor’s to win, and if the fight goes long, it’s Cerrone’s. Since McGregor and Cerrone are fighting in the main event slot, they are scheduled to compete in five 5-minute rounds.
Zahabi, who is a world-renowned trainer and the head coach of Montreal’s Tristar Gym, agrees with GSP’s quick assessment, but wasn’t satisfied with his answer.
“What is it going to be, a quick fight or short fight?” Zahabi asks the UFC legend.
At this point, St-Pierre gives his thoughts on how Cerrone has the best chance of defeating Notorious. GSP believes that if Cerrone grapples McGregor and weathers the Irishman’s storm, Cerrone can get the win.
GSP speaks very highly of Cowboy’s ground game, especially Cowboy’s explosive takedowns. Most fans forget that Cerrone has world-class grappling because he never uses it, and for further validation, GSP confirms that Cerrone is proficient on the ground when he mentions that they’ve trained together in the past.
“It sounds like you’re picking Cerrone,” Zahabi interjects. Well, in GSP’s eyes, it depends on the approach Cowboy takes for the fight. St-Pierre gathers that if Cerrone decides to wrestle right from the get-go, he has a solid chance of silencing Notorious. But if Cowboy chooses to stand and trade strikes with McGregor, he will likely get tagged and dropped.
Zahabi then asks GSP what his final thoughts were, and that’s when the two-division champ finally gives his pick for the blockbuster fight. GSP is leaning “more towards McGregor.” It’s not that simple, however. GSP genuinely believes that Cerrone can get the victory if he sticks to two things, wrestling and movement.
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GSP explains that McGregor is “like a sniper.” So, for Cowboy, “when you fight a sniper, you need to move, you need to change levels, you need to change angles, change distance.”
Will Cerrone use movement right when the bell rings? GSP points to Cowboy being a slow starter, and that if he doesn’t start right off the jump with dynamic movement, he may get caught by McGregor.
The video ends with GSP reiterating that Cowboy needs to go for takedowns and utilize versatile movement if he is to defeat Notorious.