GRACIEMAG.com caught up with Georges “Rush” St. Pierre last Saturday to talk about the Canadian’s recovery from his groin injury, which kept him from fighting Matt Hughes for UFC’s welterweight title on the 23rd. He was replaced for BJ Penn, who will try to beat Hughes for the second time. In turn, St. Pierre says he will take on the winner on December 30th. And which will be one of Georges’s main weapons? Well, nothing but pure Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
What was the story with your injury?
I pulled my groin ligament, but I’ll go to NY next week. I was wrestling and a guy grabbed my single-leg, it happened a month ago; I thought it was not a big deal, but then it got worse. What I did is I went to Las Vegas, I saw Dana White’s doctor, and he said that I wasn’t gonna be able to fight. So they’re gonna give the fight to BJ Penn on September 23rd, and I’m gonna fight the winner on December 30th. I’m gonna have a bad Christmas but a good New Year’s Eve.
How long have you been training at Renzo Gracie’s New York academy, and how has it been helping you?
I go to Renzo’s academy every three, four weeks and stay about five days. Since I started to go there, I’ve improved my ground game a lot. Renzo helped me a lot against BJ, and I just got my brown belt. The first time I went there was three years ago. When I went there I realized that the Jiu-Jitsu caliber was a lot better than in Canada. But at that time I didn’t have a lot of money, I was not yet in the UFC. I started to go to New York regularly about nine months ago.
Going there gives me a lot of confidence. It’s not only about skill, because I know I train with the best on the ground, I get confident in myself, I know I’m gonna be able to submit either BJ Penn or Matt Hughes on the ground.
Who do you believe you’ll fight in December?
I think it’s 50-50. I think if the fights ends in the first or second round it’s because BJ is gonna win, because I think BJ has got more skill, is more well-rounded than Matt Hughes, but Matt Hughes has got a bigger heart. He’s got better stamina and bigger heart. BJ is a quick starter, but when things don’t go well for him, he gives up – look at his fight against Jens Pulver. Honestly, I hope Matt Hughes wins this match, because I have already beaten BJ and I want my rematch against Hughes – my only loss was against him.
Do you think your shape is at the same level as Hughes’s?
I’m very sure that my shape is even better than Matt Hughes’s. I think I’m more well-rounded than him, better standing up, and on the ground we’re maybe equal. Against any of them I will go for the finish right away. Right now I start training again. During the last month I could only train techniques, and because of that my game is now even better than before I got injured. I think I’ll be at 100% in about two weeks.