Coach Firas Zahabi explains why ring rust won’t be a problem for Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre, UFC 217

This weekend, in the main event of the stacked UFC 217 card, former UFC welterweight king Georges St-Pierre will return from a hiatus of some four years to battle reigning middleweight champ Michael Bisping.

While plenty of people are confident St-Pierre will be as sharp as ever in his return, others are worried that he will be effected by ring rust. His coach Firas Zahabi, however, doesn’t think this will be an issue.

“If he had a limited amount of experience I believe it could be a major issue,” Zahabi told MMAjunkie. “But again, he’s been competing since he was 6, 7 years old. For him, it’s like riding a bike. I don’t believe ring rust is an issue in this fight, in this particular fight.”

Zahabi also addressed St-Pierre’s clear size disadvantage. In his opinion, there are advantages to being the smaller man in the cage too.

“When you fight with somebody who’s bigger than you, there’s a few techniques, movements and strategies that have to be eliminated off the table,” Zahabi said. “Because if a person is bigger than you, the chances of those strategies and techniques working are far less. So when you fight somebody bigger, you have less tools.

“However, I’m a believer that the smaller guys have the superiority in movement. You can move around move efficiently and use that to your advantage.”

And if Georges St-Pierre successfully navigates his disadvantages and wins this fight? Zahabi argues we should all be calling him the GOAT.

“I think it cements him as the greatest fighter or all time,” he said. “The greatest fighter of all time. All the other candidates had USADA issues.”

Do you think Georges St-Pierre can overcome his disadvantages and conquer the UFC middleweight champion? Join the debate in the comments section!

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/11/2017.