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Monday, 12/02/2013, 11:39 am

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Firas Zahabi Says St-Pierre’s Return is 50/50

UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre announced that he will be taking some time off from the sport of mixed martial arts after his most recent title defense against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167.  The announcement left many fans – along with Hendricks and UFC President Dana White – confused and demanding that St-Pierre fight Hendricks in a rematch.  St-Pierre’s head-trainer and good friend Firas Zahabi, however, says that’s a decision GSP will have to make for himself.

 

By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA

Firas Zahabi, the head trainer of long-time UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, spoke to Sportsnet in a recent interview regarding the champ’s plans for the future.
Following his most recent fight, a 5-round split-decision victory over challenger Johny Hendricks at UFC 167, St-Pierre left the Octagon after announcing that he would be taking some time off.  His announcement puzzled many, including UFC President Dana White, who vocally demanded that St-Pierre give Hendricks a rematch.

Since then, rumors spread like wild fire regarding St-Pierre’s decision; stories that were denied almost as quickly as they were created.  But if you ask Zahabi, who has long been St-Pierre’s trainer and good friend, the fighter just needs personal time.

Right now it’s just about clearing his emotions,” Zahabi said, “finding out what he wants to do with life – he’s been fighting for so long, he’s been putting off his social life for so long, making a lot of sacrifices.  It’s been almost 7 years that he’s champion, he’s had 22 fights in the UFC, logged in I don’t know how many 5-round fights.  I think he needs to settle down, settle his mind and figure out what he wants to do.

I don’t know.  It’s 50/50 and I don’t think he knows either,” Zahabi would continue, talking about the chances of GSP’s return to the Octagon.  “I think if he ends it this way, it was good.  He ended up with Fight of the Night.  An incredible seesaw battle.  He showed heart, he showed guts, he showed he’s a fighter.

That fight, however, has left many confused and upset – among those, Dana White and Johny Hendricks.  The judges’ decision has been described as anything from controversial to a robbery.  Zahabi said the entire GSP team watched the fight as soon as they returned to the hotel.

I agree with the judges’ decision,” Zahabi said.  “I really believe it came down to one round.  I think rounds 2 and 4 [are] Johny’s, rounds 3 and 5 are Georges’ unarguably, and round 1 is the only one that could have gone either way.  I gave it to Georges because Georges was a little bit more aggressive, and he connected a little bit more with significant shots.  Johny Hendricks scored his shots from the clinch.  I think from the clinch, you’re never going to see a knockout from body-to-body, it doesn’t matter how powerful you are, you’ve never seen a single guy get knocked out from body-to-body with the exception of maybe  knee to the head sometimes, which didn’t happen in the fight.  Georges landed, I think, 14 strikes from the standing position, Hendricks landed one from the standing position – all his work was done in the clinch.  And when you’re in the clinch, not the Thai clinch, the wrestling clinch, you can’t get your bodyweight behind it as much, I give it less significance.  Georges landed more strikes, and the head kick, so I really do give it to Georges.

In a later interview with Fight Now TV, Zahabi responded to Dana White’s assessment of the fight where he said GSP only won one round.

I was most surprised he saw a landslide,” Zahabi said of White’s reaction.  “I didn’t see a landslide.  Nobody saw a landslide.  You look at the polls on the internet, 10% more people gave the fight to Georges than to Johny.  There’s a lot of opinions out there.  Dana White, I respect him a lot, is one opinion.  It definitely wasn’t a blowout, as he said.

It’s one man’s opinion.  It’s an important opinion, but for me, I’m very comfortable to say Georges won that fight.

Victory aside, many fans want to see St-Pierre fight again.  Some wish to see the champion fight a rematch with Hendricks, others want to see the champion fight some of the rising young talent in the UFC’s 170-lb. division.  For Zahabi, he thinks St-Pierre will have to make that decision for himself.

He has 22 fights in the UFC, alone.  That’s a lot of training camps.  That’s a lot of years of sacrifice.  He can’t go out.  He can’t do this [or that].  He can’t have a wife and kids.  He can’t have a steady girlfriend.  He can’t have anything normal in his life.  He’s living a very unbalanced life.  How long does he want to do that for?  He’s 32.  When is he going to start living his life?  At 40?  It’s a hard decision for him to make and he’s got a lot of things going on in his life.  He has to decide what he wants to do.  Nobody can decide for him.

I tell him, it’s about motivation.  Do you have the motivation to do this again?  If yes, and you want to put your life on the back burner and do another camp, let’s do it.  If you don’t have the motivation to do it, don’t do it.  You’re just going to go out there and get hurt.  You’re going to cut corners and be miserable and you’re going to go out there and you’re going to get hurt.

And the world waits with bated breath for Georges St-Pierre to make that decision.

(Quotes from MMA Fighting’s Transcription)

 

comments

7 Comments to Firas Zahabi Says St-Pierre’s Return is 50/50

  1. Gargoyle Wrestling says:

    What a fukcin prima donna GSP is right now. I respect what he has done and his fightting ability bu this guy is now a mental case and needs to relinquish the belt while he spends time in the psych ward to get his shrink to fix his OCD. When he gets his shit together then let him come back. He’s being a little bitch right now. Fukcin Retire and move on GSP. Go get your girly emotions in order, selfish little prick.

    • brandon says:

      Who the the hell do you think you are, sounds more like your a selfish little prick, gsp doesn’t owe anybody anything. You’re just pissed because johny lost and you love anybody who wrestled in college.

    • Sasquatch says:

      Not too sure what you’re trying to accomplish by spewing verbal diarrhea on one of the GOAT’s (my guess is attention), but he’s sacrificed enough of his life to entertain the likes of people like us… so who’s being the selfish little prick???

    • 3L says:

      You have no clue what fighting is and what it takes at higher levels dumb ass

  2. Thesire says:

    I celebrated SO hard when Hendricks lost. Should have been throwing more punches than bobbing his head as if he won. Hahahaha I hope gsp does retire, he deserves it. Imagine if Johnny goes for the vacant ww title and loses!!? Haha that would be epic

  3. 757 says:

    GSP Most dominant welterweight ever. He should do whatever he wants. He earned the right. He has fought all of the best, and is definitely one of the greatest to ever fight in the cage. Haters need to fuck off

    • Gargoyle Wrestling says:

      I’m with you. GSP is one of my favorite athletes and fighters. He’s been awesome and is one of the best ever. Mush better than Andy for sure. I have no issues with his past, BUT it is how he is acting NOW that bugs the shit outta me. He is acting like a prima donna. If he can’t handle the pressure of being the champ, then he needs to retire and get out of the way of the competition. So he deserves a month to settle down and then either Man UP or get the fukc outta the way. Quit all of his girly crap he is pulling right now.

  4. T.Daddy says:

    He will retire mark my words… grease man doesn’t want another azz whooping like that… Hendricks is the real champ and anybody that’s not a GSP nut hugger knows it…

  5. KIDD433 says:

    I hope he retires, I’m tired of hearing him bitch, seeing him dry hump, and hearing his excuses. If he had any dignity he would give Hendricks his rematch that he knows he more than deserves since he is the rightfull champ. But we all know he won’t. He needs to just retire.

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