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GSP’s brainy gameplan

Let’s all take a few minutes today to put aside the greasing accusations against Georges St Pierre and commend him for the insane gameplan he had coming into his fight with BJ Penn. It looks like his crew went waaaaay further than most camps do. While the general plan is to look at a fighter’s skills and try to find ways to take advantage of their weaknesses, GSP’s crew went into the physiology and psychology of BJ Penn to find his achilles heels.

From Sports Illustrated:

I know a lot of doctors. It’s a fact. When somebody has flexible hips, normally he has a weak thoracic cage. His bones are weaker. It’s science. And with B.J., that’s the case. He has very flexible hips, so his core is weaker than somebody who has normal hips. That’s why I was attacking the body a lot. People, when they fight B.J., they try to hit the head. But B.J. has very thick skin and he moves his head very well and his reaction time is very fast. He can move his head standing up, but his body never moves. I was targeting the body a lot.

From ESPN:

Well, B.J. Penn is a very fast starter and he has very fast hands.   He’s got small shoulders if you look at him, like boxing shoulders.   So, I wanted to make the first couple rounds a wrestling match.   A lot of clinching.   A lot of moving around for him to carry my weight so the blood goes to his shoulders.   His shoulders would have been heavy.   His hands would not come out as fast as usual.   Then, after that, pick him apart standing later in the fight.

I was faking a lot, if you saw, because he has very fast reaction time, but a slow reset time.   All that, I’ve been studying.   When I do something, he reacts very fast.   Faster than I, faster than most fighters in the UFC.   But if I fake something, and he reacts – and the brain is just a muscle – he takes a lot of time to reset and to be able to react as fast for the first shot.   He had a very slow reset time, so my strategy was to fake him, make him react, and then attack him.