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georges st-pierre

Firas Zahabi, the head coach at Tristar Gym where former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre trains, believes the fighter will make a 2015 return to action.

GSP retired after a successful title defense over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 last November, citing several reasons. Earlier this year, he suffered a torn ACL, but Zahabi told ESPN that he is ahead in terms of recovery compared to his first knee injury in 2011.

“It’s looking way better than the first time,” he said. “We just finished training and were talking about how his quadriceps got back to size so much faster this time around. No two ACL injuries are the same. We’re learning that.

“In October, he’s going to try really light martial arts training. Maybe hit pads. A little movement. Nothign crazy.”

Zahabi admitted that the two have not discussed any such return to actual fighting, he just has a “gut feeling” he’ll compete again for UFC.

“My personal opinion is he still has plenty of competitive juice in him,” Zahabi said. “I don’t think he’ll be anywhere near fight shape until he’s late 34, mid-34. I think he’s got a few fights in him, but I don’t want to speak for the guy.

“He might retire and no one could blame him.”

St-Pierre has been a very outspoken individual when it comes to including more randomized drug testing in MMA, as he hopes to help clean the sport up.

“From now on, he’s in a place where he doesn’t have to fight a guy if that guy doesn’t do the test,” Zahabi said. “He is a big believer in everybody should be natural. Georges is happy. He’s a natural athlete.”

Hendricks went on to win the vacant title when he bested Robbie Lawler. The two are expected to rematch in early 2015. Along with rehab, St-Pierre has remained in MMA circles, cornering teammate Francis Carmont for his most recent UFC bouts.

Antonio Silva

Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva became the first person in six years to defeat Alistair Overeem back in 2013 when he weathered the early storm and finished the former Strikeforce champion.

Since, Overeem has also dropped bouts – all via finish – to Travis Browne and Ben Rothwell.

And Silva can do nothing but laugh about it.

“I was flying to Brazil and at the airport and I had the opportunity to sit and watch the Overeem (vs. Rothwell) fight,” said Silvia, in a recent interview with Combate. “He is a comedy, a cartoon. You have to feel sorry for a guy like that.

“He is reaping what he sowed. Who plants the good reaps good. He’s a despicable person and does not deserve much attention from people.”

Silva and Overeem exchanged plenty of words in the weeks leading up to their meeting. Silva returns to action himself Saturday night against Andrei Arlovski at UFC Fight Night 51 from Brazil.

The No. 4 ranked heavyweight continued to lay it on Overeem, saying “he’s a guy who just leave enmity wherever he goes.

“It’s sad to see a person like him, because we never wish harm on a person, never want to see a person in this situation,” he said. “It may be that I gave him issues with his chin. But I’m sure he was psychologically shaken. When he sees a big guy, he must get scared, close his eyes and remember something.”

Prior to the loss to Silva, Overeem was viewed as one of the top heavyweights in the world. He had won 11 in a row and was unbeaten in his previous 12 fights, including wins over Brock Lesnar, Fabricio Werdum and Mark Hunt.

ufc rankings

Thanks to his finish of Gegard Mousasi, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza is now ranked second in the latest UFC middleweight division rankings. Souza passed Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida after the recent win over the No. 7 Mousasi.

Belfort, though, remains on track as the next contender, taking on champion Chris Weidman later this year at UFC 181 in Las Vegas.

Eddie Alvarez, who recently held the Bellator lightweight title, debuted for in the lightweight Top-15 at No. 14. Alvarez takes on Donald Cerrone later this month at UFC 178.

The other big winner was Ben Rothwell, as the heavyweight debuted at No. 9 following his stunning knockout of Alistair Overeem. Overeem, a former Strikeforce champion, fell from seventh to 10th overall.

Along with Souza, Michael Bisping, Mark Munoz, Zach Makovsky, Bryan Caraway, Stipe Miocic, Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson all moved up in their respective divisions.

Anderson Silva

Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva continues to work to overcome the horrific injury that left him inside the Octagon last December screaming in pain.

Silva, who suffered a broken leg when Chris Weidman checked a kick, is set to return to action in January against Nick Diaz at UFC 183. As he continues to work to get back to 100-percent physically, “The Spider” is finding it troubling getting to that level mentally.

“I’m having an accompaniment of a psychologist so I take the ghosts of those horrible moments (away),” said Silva, in a recent interview with Fantastico. “At the time of the workouts I get kinda worried. I know I can perform the movement, but I end up not doing (it) because of fear.”

Silva has rehabbed his way through the months after seeing his tibia and fibula snapped by the move. Many have questioned if he should even try to fight again, and Silva himself seems to be wondering that same thing.

“I’ve been through that thing to be the champion, you have the belt and such,” he said. “The truth is that Ayrton Senna will only have a Pele will only have one and Anderson Silva will only have one. Then, well, who saw, saw. Who has not seen, no longer sees.

“I have no more patience (for being the champion). I think every day I get closer to retiring.”

As his fighting career ends, Silva is working towards getting more involved in acting, something he wants to also do to the best of his abilities.

“I want (to be a good actor),” he said. “That is my goal. I do not pretend to be a Denzel Washington, but I hope to get close.”

ben rothwell

Ben Rothwell left a resounding thud inside the Octagon this past Friday night when he stormed through Alistair Overeem, finishing the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion in the first round.

While the win was a huge one for Rothwell, the fight in general did not sit very well with him.

Appearing on Submission Radio, Rothwell discussed the “dirty moves” Overeem was trying to use to his advantage in the bout.

“I almost yelled at him in the fight. He was doing some real dirty push kicks to my knee, and it’s just a dirty move,” Rothwell said. “It’s not honorable in my mind because this isn’t street fighting. Like street fighting, if you’re fighting in the street, I’m undefeated. And I will remain so, and if I’m not, it means I’m dead.

“If you want to fight like that, then I’m going to start. I’m gonna rip his eyes out, I’m gonna pull his jugular out with my teeth, and I’m gonna break things on him. I’m gonna start snapping fingers and it’ll be a lot worse on him. And throwing push kicks at the knee joint is kinda like, to me it’s the same dirty message. It’s like you don’t do that, and I almost said something to him during the fight like ‘Really?’ like ‘You’re gonna play like that?’ and I luckily ended him before he got to do it anymore.”

The 32-year-old Rothwell (34-9) earned his second straight win and third in his last four fights overall. He is 4-3 overall since joining the UFC in 2009 with a TKO loss to current heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. That defeat remains on the mind of the Wisconsin fighter, who would make sure he did many things differently this time around.

“I’m just a completely different fighter than I was then, and he’s improved as well, that’s obvious. What I would do different, it’s already done,” he said. “I already am different, and what I’m gonna do is, you’re just going to have to tune in and watch when that fight happens. I’m gonna shock the world, that’s what I’m gonna do.”

As for who might be next, Rothwell wouldn’t mind taking on a former champion in Junior dos Santos and is ready to sign on the dotted line if the UFC wants to put it together.

“I don’t care where rankings are. It doesn’t matter to me in the slightest and I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait, and I don’t know if Junior Dos Santos is already matched up but he hasn’t fought since he lost to Cain Velasquez, so he’s probably, maybe set up to fight somebody else, but that’s a fight that I’m the most interested in,” he said. “I really thought about it the last couple of days and I thought about different opponents.

“I really don’t want to fight anybody else but him, and he’s still ranked No. 2 and he’s the one that I think will make me the number one contender. So you know, it’s going to be the exact same fight as the last one. Everyone’s going to doubt me, make me a 5-1 underdog. Great. Thank you. Let’s do it. Let’s set the fight up. I’ll sign the contract. let’s do this”

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