When UFC welterweight king Georges St-Pierre announced last week he was heading west to train with legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach, many wondered how it would benefit the planet’s baddest 170-pounder considering Roach’s recent work with Andrei Arlovski.
Although Arlovski’s hands have appeared much improved since teaming up with Roach just before for his “Affliction: Banned” victory in July 2008, the former UFC heavyweight champ has dropped three straight contests since and was separated from his senses in two of them.
“It’s a challenge for me as much as it is for him,” Roach told Yahoo! Sports on working with GSP. “The footwork and the stances are different than what I’m used to working with. I’ve never looked at MMA the way some [in boxing] have. A fighter is a fighter and a good one is going to pick up knowledge from wherever they can and apply it as they can.”
Apparently, Arlovski couldn’t soak-up the info as quickly as the French-Canadian has been able to inside the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, CA. Roach believes that GSP’s coachability and relentless work ethic is the prefect recipe for success.
“Georges is such a tremendous athlete, and he’s such a fast learner,” Roach said. “We were working at different distances and different angles than he’s used to fighting in MMA, but he picked it all up so fast.”
While most would question why St-Pierre would tinker with a formula that’s enabled him to post seven consecutive dominant victories en route to recapturing the welterweight crown, the 29-year-old believes that if he’s not constantly pushing the envelope, the MMA G.O.A.T. Parade might quickly pass him by.
“There are a lot of holes in my game,” said St-Pierre. “The people who say I am the best or that I cannot be any better, they are comparing me to other fighters. I compare me to myself, and I see a lot of things that I know I can do better.
“You can never stop learning. You can never be too good.”