MONTREAL – Georges St. Pierre is fired up.
The UFC welterweight champion is typically the best-dressed man in any room he enters. He’s a brand-conscious fighter unlike any other, a businessman first and foremost, and every single thing he does is likely a calculated move by a team of marketing experts.
That’s why it was such a surprise – and a revelation, if you ask me – to hear St. Pierre’s exasperation at the end of yesterday’s UFC 124 press conference in Montreal. He’s tired of talking about Josh Koscheck.
“I’m doing this job because I want to be the best. I don’t want to be No. 2. I want to be No. 1,” St. Pierre said. “I’ve always been like this in my life. And I don’t only want to be No. 1. I want to be the greatest. So now I’m fighting Josh Koscheck. I fought him before. People say, ‘The pressure is on you.’ It’s true. I’m in Montreal. But I’m at my best when I’m fighting in my hometown. But also, if I win against Koscheck, it’s going to be the end of it. It’s going to be two times that I beat him. And if he has the same mentality as me, Josh Koscheck, then he has to reconsider (his) career.”
“Because if he wants to be the best, he’s going to lose two times to me. It’s going to take a long time again before he goes to the title, and maybe never again,” he continued. “So he’s going to have to climb up the ladder a long time. So I’m going to beat him Saturday night, and that’s going to be the end of it. I’m not going to talk about him for a long, long time. And I’m going to be very happy.”
It was the kind of moment you rarely see from the Montreal native – uncontrolled and driven by emotion. Koscheck claims that he’s gotten inside of St. Pierre’s head with his masterful mind games, and maybe he has.
“I think I have,” Koscheck said. “Georges has a lot of pressure coming into this fight. He loses to a guy that talked a lot of trash, and a guy that isn’t very well-liked around here. There’s a lot of pressure on him to come out and put me away. He really believes that he’s going to knock me out. Well, I hope that’s the case. I hope he tries that. I have no pressure. I’m going to come out and have some fun like I always do, and I can guarantee I’m ready to fight for 25 minutes if I have to. I’m excited about this opportunity.”
Perhaps Thursday’s outburst was a sign of things to come on Saturday, an indicator that the GSP we see in the cage on Saturday night might just be fueled by emotion instead of the calculated efficiency that turned him into one of the best fighters in the world. St. Pierre says his desire to finish his next opponent is greater than it has ever been.
“The goal for this fight for me is being able to finish Josh Koscheck,” St. Pierre said. “The last time I fought him I won by decision, but this time I want to take him out, either by knockout or submission.”