Josh Koscheck says his plan is to use his wrestling skillz to stay upright with George St Pierre and test his chin. It’s a good gameplan in theory, but in reality there’s a few problems: Georges didn’t seem to have much of a problem the first fight around taking things to the mat, and – as Kos’s teammate Jon Fitch learned two years ago – GSP’s striking ability is nothing to sneeze at.
But times change. Koscheck is a better fighter than he was back in 2007, and he’s actually training his wrestling this time around as opposed to last time where he supposedly didn’t at all. If he does keep it on the feet, he best watch out: Georges has also improved, working with one of the best boxing trainers in the world, Freddie Roach.
“I think it’s a different fight with two different fighters,” said St. Pierre. “I’ve been working on a lot of different things. The main thing I’ve done, I’ve been working a lot on punching power. I’ve been working on that with Freddie Roach. A lot of stuff I was doing wrong and he corrected.”
“I think Freddie helped me a lot. A few months I’ve been working with him and he changed a lot of things in my mechanics. Before I knew him, I thought I knew boxing, but I found out I didn’t,” St. Pierre said. “I’ve been sparring a lot with his professional boxers. Some of his guys are world champions. I’m very ready for this fight. I’ve never had a [better] training camp ever [than] for this fight.”
Unfortunately for Georges, Freddie is tied in in Vegas this weekend cornering Amir Khan (get your BetUS boxing picks in here for that), but when you’ve got a fighter who’s borderline OCD about everything he’s taught, does GSP really need a body there in Montreal to remind him about stuff he’s already drilled into his head?
I’m not always the biggest believer in “X guy trained with Y, now he’s going to be X+Y*100″ You don’t learn via some magical osmosis – everyone’s got their limitations and how much can you really learn in a few weeks, even from a boxing god? But as Bloody Elbow points out, Freddie wasn’t just working generalities with St Pierre’s team:
“Koscheck jumps in from far away,” Roach told FightHubtv.com. “I told (Georges) to not pull away from that and beat that on the counter. I told him, ‘I think you’ll knock him out with the left hook in that fight.'”
That “jumping in” was never more clear than in Koscheck’s fight with Paulo Thiago at UFC 95.