Kristof Midoux, a known friend and mentor to Georges St-Pierre, has revealed some pretty worrying doubts he has over his upcoming return to the UFC.
UFC 217 will see the long-awaited return of the legendary Georges St-Pierre, as he looks to become one of only a select few fighters who has managed to win UFC belts in more than one weight-class but in doing so, he has elected to make the move up to the middleweight division to face the champion, Michael Bisping.
15lbs can amount of quite a bit in this sport and with it coming on up four years since we’ve seen the once-dominant welterweight champion in action, many questions have been raised over Georges’ decision to take such a difficult fight with such limited fight-time in recent years.
Of course, in Michael Bisping, St-Pierre might see an easier challenge than the one that the current 170lb champ Tyron Woodley would present. Bisping’s size, toughness and endurance have served him well in the past, but with all respect to him, the notion of facing a Yoel Romero, a ‘Jacare’ Souza or even a Robert Whittaker might not have been as appealing to GSP.
So with his venture into the unknown waters at 185lbs now just days away, one of St-Pierre’s old friends and mentors, Kristof Midoux, voiced his concern – in an interview with Le Journal de Montréal (via BJPenn.com) about GSP’s ability to pull this one off, something he felt after seeing the body language of ‘Rush’ during his recent press conferences alongside Bisping as well as from what he has seen of Georges behind the closed doors of his gym.
“I do not agree with this return and I do not know who managed to convince him. I do not see the objective surrounding this fight.
“Moreover, when I see Georges’ eyes, they do not tell me anything good. During his face-to-face in Las Vegas, I would have liked him to give a slap to Bisping to show him what was waiting for him on November 4th. The guys who have their hands in their pockets like Georges did, they do not feel like fighting. You have to have the urge and the rage to do it.
“I think he needs help and I think the people around him are hiding things from him. I witnessed his sparring and I did not see what I wanted to see from him.”
Ring rust is oft-discussed topic in this sport and while we’ve seen many crumble under its influence in the past, the true greats have managed to ingore its effects entirely and come back stronger than ever.
Look at the return of bantamweight legend Dominick Cruz, who after a similarly-long layoff period due to injury, managed to steal the show once again with a brutal dismantling of Takeya Mizugaki before putting on a show with the then-champ TJ Dillashaw, a fight that he edged by way of a close decision.
Basically, the fighter in question has a lot to do with the effects of ringrust and given Georges and his team’s approach to training and progress in every facet of their game, perhaps we will see an improved version of GSP when he makes his return next weekend.
However, nothing is certain in this game, and win or lose, St-Pierre’s will to fight will be tested before all is said and done.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena