In a new video interview with mmafighting Georges St.Pierre talks about his upcoming title defense against Dan Hardy.
One of the most interesting things the welterweight champion has to say is that he does not fear trading strikes with the Brit, who knocked out Rory Markham in his second UFC fight, and had Mike Swick in trouble several times in their title eliminator in November.
“People think I’m going to bring the fight on the ground, but I’m not afraid of him standing up, you know?”
He backs this up by pointing to to stand-up exchanges in his last fight against Thiago Alves.
“Thiago Alves – a lot of people said he was the best striker in my division,” the Canadian star points out. “If you would have scored this fight as a kickboxing match I would have beat him.”
It’s a good point that he makes. Though his bout with Alves at UFC 100 is largely remembered as a showcase of GSP’s wrestling skills, there were exchanges on the feet, and he did get the better of them. In fact he even knocking the highly regarded Brazilian striker down in the third round.
What plays into St.Pierre’s hands is that when facing a dangerous striker like Alves or Hardy, the speed and success of his takedown attempts merges seamlessly with his punches and kicks, leaving his opponents unsure of what he is going to do next.
It leads to them fighting more cautiously, and not committing to their own strikes as wholeheartedly as they would against a lesser opponent.
There still remains questions over the quality of GSP’s chin though, and undoubtedly Hardy will be looking to test that on March 27th with his favored weapon – his left hook.
It could be a very interesting stand-up battle, but I suspect that St.Pierre’s hugely impressive wrestling will still have a major part to play in the outcome of this fight.
Watch the full interview with St.Pierre below: