Over the course of his decade-long career, UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre has become known for his mental and physical preparation, including his ability to maintain a positive mindset when facing adversity.

The champ has continued in that vein ahead of his UFC 154 title unification bout against interim champion Carlos Condit, a man St. Pierre calls his most dangerous opponent to date. “The Natural Born Killer” captured the interim strap this past February, outpointing Nick Diaz after St. Pierre withdrew from his UFC 143 title defense against the Cesar Gracie pupil due to a torn ACL.

Now fully recovered from the serious knee injury, St. Pierre says the time on the sidelines actually proved beneficial as he prepared for his Nov. 17 showdown with Condit at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

“This last year has allowed me to take a break, mentally and physically,” St. Pierre said at the UFC 154 pre-fight press conference on Thursday. “A year-and-a-half ago, I realized I had kind of lost the fire a little bit. Now, after everything I’ve been through, I’m coming back motivated and stronger. I’ve rekindled the passion for the fight game.

“Before my injury, I was at the point where I had to train, not because I wanted to. I lost motivation, and I learned that sometimes you need to break something [on purpose] and fix it before it breaks by itself,” St. Pierre continued. “I don’t need to lose a fight to improve my training schedule and make me a better martial artist. I need to stay on top of the game before the fight game catches up on me. That’s what the long layoff allowed me to do. I can’t make everyone happy, but I need to make changes in my training for myself that makes it more efficient.”

In Condit, St. Pierre faces a fellow disciple of vaunted trainer Greg Jackson, who has declined to help either man prepare for the bout. Though he would obviously prefer for Jackson to be in his corner on fight night, St. Pierre says that a fighter’s corner can help only so much within the confines of the one-minute rest period.

“[Carlos and I] both have the same problem right now. The corner doesn’t really matter in a fight,” said St. Pierre. “Of course it does a little bit, but even if I had the Pope in my corner, the truth is that when you come back from a round, you’re exhausted. You have maybe 20 seconds where [your corner] can tell you what to do or change your strategy to help you out. The rest of the time, you just recuperate and try to [catch] your breath.

“Also, it’s about the hours of repetition and training that will [take over] in the fight without you thinking about it. So it’s really the instinct that takes over. It happens so quick that you don’t have time to think about it.”

St. Pierre has made a career of honing those fight instincts, which have guided him to 22 victories in 24 career appearances. One of the major knocks on the dominant champion, however, has been his inability to finish the majority of his opposition while competing at or near the top of the UFC welterweight division. While “Rush” has previously explained the inherent difficulties of stopping challengers in a category as talented as welterweight, St. Pierre says he has nonetheless made an effort to further develop his finishing instinct in preparation for Condit.

“For me, I think the key to getting more finishes is to be more of an opportunist, not taking more punches or having less defense,” said St. Pierre. “It’s more about having the instinct for the finish, and I’ve been working a lot on that these last few months. The ultimate goal is to entertain, but it’s also to win and hurt your opponent. That’s how you win the fight.”

When St. Pierre steps into the cage in eight weeks, it will mark his first fight in nearly 19 months. As a result of the extended layoff, St. Pierre says he actually views himself the challenger -- not the champion -- in his return to the Octagon.

I have two challenges in one. I’m fighting the most dangerous, well-rounded martial artist that I’ve ever fought, and I’m also coming back from a long period of inactivity,” said St. Pierre. “In my contract, I was supposed to defend my title every year, and I couldn’t do it because of injury. So the champion, for me, is Carlos Condit, and it’s up to me to take the title.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Rousey vs. Correia: Career Stats, Highlights for Both Fighters Ahead of UFC 190

  • 4 days ago
  • 2 views

Someone's "0" has to go in the main event of UFC 190 in Brazil. Undefeated women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey (11-0) will defend her title against Brazilian striker and undefeated challenger read news >>

'UFC 189 Embedded,' No. 7: Bling-shopping with McGregor, sleep-talking with Mendes

  • 26 days ago
  • 8 views

Ahead of arguably the biggest featherweight fight in UFC history, “UFC 189 Embedded” is covering the participants. In the seventh episode, Conor McGregor shops for some bling and gets an early look a read news >>

Video: Dan Hardy, John Gooden break down Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald at UFC 189

  • 26 days ago
  • 14 views

Ahead of Saturday’s UFC 189 pay-per-view event in Las Vegas, go inside the co-main event welterweight title fight for an in-depth breakdown.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC 189 + TUF Finale Care/Don't Care Preview

  • 26 days ago
  • 3 views

Sorry cry babies, Kid Nate + Eugene S. Robinson look ahead to this weekend's 2fer of UFC events as well as bemoaning the lack of Jose Aldo in the infamous & patented Care/Don't Care Preview read news >>

'UFC 189 Embedded,' No. 6: Mendes' meat locker, McGregor at the Mac Mansion

  • 26 days ago
  • 6 views

Ahead of arguably the biggest featherweight fight in UFC history, “UFC 189 Embedded” is covering the participants all week long.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Claudia Gadelha teases Jedrzejczyk on Twitter: 'You know you lost to me'

  • 27 days ago
  • 39 views

Claudia Gadelha fires at Joanna Jedrzejczyk on Twitter ahead of her number one contender match against Jessica Agular at UFC 190. Strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha, has a very decisive bout comin read news >>

BJ Penn Hall of Fame induction provides fitting end to storied UFC career

  • 27 days ago
  • 5 views

The term "warrior" can be overused in mixed martial arts (MMA). As Josh Barnett stated in an interview with HOV MMA, there are more athletes than fighters now. They attempt to choose their opponents read news >>

UFC President Dana White Says Conor McGregor Tried to Bet $3 Million on Himself

  • 27 days ago
  • 34 views

Conor McGregor is confident ahead of his UFC 189 matchup against Chad Mendes on Saturday, July 11. Confident to the tune of $3 million, in fact. According to UFC President Dana White, McGregor made a read news >>

Video: Dan Hardy, John Gooden offer in-depth analysis of UFC 189's non-title bouts

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

Ahead of Saturday’s UFC 189 pay-per-view event in Las Vegas, go inside the main card for an in-depth breakdown of the pay-per-view broadcast’s three non-title fights. Former UFC welterweight title ch read news >>

Chael Sonnen shoots down rumors of a comeback, reflects on career

  • 28 days ago
  • 22 views

Could the "American Gangster," Chael Sonnen, return to the cage for a comeback fight? While it's an idea that would certainly draw major interest, and it's one that's already been floated by Mike Rob read news >>