It was huge news when former UFC welterweight king Georges St-Pierre and the UFC had reached an agreement in February for a new contract to come back to compete in the Octagon.
One man who played a key role in getting both St-Pierre and the UFC to agree on terms is legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach. Roach will enter as a cornerman in MMA for the first time when St-Pierre returns for his fight scheduled against Michael Bisping at UFC 217 on November 4.
Roach recently spoke with ESPN on how he has found himself working with St-Pierre’s other MMA coaches.
“I’ve never been an elite MMA trainer, but Georges made me promise I would work his corner and I’m holding up to that,” Roach told ESPN.
“This might be a little different than boxing, but it is combat sports and I know how to fight. I used to be a wrestler in high school. I was never a great wrestler but I have an idea on it and watching it during camp has given me a better idea. Everyone in the corner is real friendly with one another and I will give the best information I can in there on fight night, and it won’t be strictly boxing.”
Although St-Pierre has deflected at wanting a fight with MMA’s brightest star in Conor McGregor, Roach says he would like that fight to happen. If St-Pierre wins the middleweight title against Michael Bisping at UFC 217, St-Pierre is contractually obligated to defend the title against UFC interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.
Interestingly, St-Pierre has stated that he would retire from MMA if he were to lose during his return to competition. With that said, Roach revealed an interesting clause St-Pierre has with the UFC in regards to winning and losing.
“Right now, we’re just concentrated on this fight,” Roach said of the matchup with Bisping. “The thing is, we have a three-fight contract with [UFC president Dana White] and we have to win every one for the contract to go on. If everything goes well and Georges wants to retire at the end, that’s up to him. If he still has fight in him, and if I still have fight in me, we’ll go on from there. I’m sure he’ll receive many offers. Bigger and better offers.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/26/2017.