Greg Jackson, MMA guru and head coach for Georges St-Pierre, claims that he pushed the UFC welterweight champion through the most grueling training camp of his life because Dan Hardy will present a tremendous threat to GSP’s crown at UFC 111.
“I do believe it because he has a lot of skills,” Jackson told Sherdog.com. “He’s got really good power. The problem with guys like Dan Hardy is that he’s young, he’s hungry, he’s got very good skills and if he catches you the wrong way, you zig when you should have zagged, and that might be it.”
The task of convincing MMA’s baddest welterweight to remain focused as a huge favorite isn’t too hard because all Jackson does is bring up UFC 69 when GSP’s skyrocketing career got derailed by another heavy underdog.
“Remember that Matt Serra was never considered a real threat to Georges,” said Jackson of the April 2007 loss. “Everyone was laughing it off, then all of a sudden Georges was in a lot of trouble.
“So if you go into any fight thinking this guy is going to be easy, this guy is going to be a walkover, this isn’t a legitimate threat, it puts you in a place mentally where you aren’t going to train as hard, You’re not going to be as hungry and Hardy is a legitimate serious threat and needs to be treated as such.”
Bottom line, Hardy brings a relentlessness to the Octagon that won’t quit. Although he may feel overwhelmed when the bright lights hit his Mohawk, it’s a certainty he won’t stop until GSP makes him.
“He’s a really tough guy. I think he’s a mentally tough guy, physically tough,” Jackson added. “We are not taking him lightly or overlooking him by any means.”
These two will meet this Saturday inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. St-Pierre enters the Octagon a heavy 8-to-1 favorite to retain his title while Hardy checks in at +500.
Here is a breakdown of this weekend’s agenda:
Greg Soto vs Matt Riddle
Thomas Drwal vs. Rousimar Palhares
Rodney Wallace vs. Jared Hamman
Kurt Pellegrino vs. Fabricio Camoes
Spike TV 9PM ET/6PM PT
Ricardo Almeida vs. Matt Brown
Nate Diaz vs. Rory Markham
Mark Bocek vs. Jim Miller
Thiago Alves vs. Jon Fitch
Jake Ellenberger vs. Ben Saunders
Shane Carwin vs. Frank Mir (UFC Interim Heavyweight Title)
Dan Hardy vs. Georges St-Pierre (UFC Welterweight Champion)