Has it really been five years since a 24-year-old Georges St-Pierre lost his first welterweight title fight to Matt Hughes? Come Saturday at UFC 100, the champ will be pulling the old switcheroo as it is now his job to hold off a younger and more explosive Thiago Alves.
Alves literally presents the largest threat to GSP’s reign with his sheer strength, striking and sprawl. Many MMA enthusiasts believe there will be a new 170-pound king crowned this weekend.
“Thiago Alves, no doubt, is the biggest challenge of my career,” St-Pierre stated. “He has done stuff nobody has done before. It’s going to be a very, very tough fight.”
The “stuff” that GSP is referring to is Alves’ domination of Josh Koscheck, destruction of Hughes and a 1stRound knockout of Karo Parisyan. All are former foes of St-Pierre as well, which the Brazilian was able to discard of faster and in more impressive fashion.
That’s something the American Top Team-trained fighter will look to continue as he is currently riding a seven-fight winning streak, with five of them ending before the fight’s final horn.
“I’m real excited,” Alves stated. “I’ve been preparing for this my whole life. I know GSP is a great fighter, but it’s just my time. I’m not just going to win. I’m going to knock him out. I’m going to shock the world, just don’t blink!”
Alves’ knockout power has been well documented, as have his devastating kicks. His size and sprawl make him a tough opponent to get to the mat, let alone keep there, which is where GSP makes his money.
Does the champ dare stand with Alves and risk being knocked out, or will he once again surprise us all by perfectly executing another sophisticated game plan against another top contender?
“I’m not afraid of him standing up, I’m not afraid of him anywhere,” said St-Pierre. “I just acknowledge his strength, and I know what he’s good at, but I’m not afraid of it. Either standing up, on the ground, anywhere. The main thing is to keep your opponent out of their comfort zone, the best defense is the offense. Not all of the time, but most of the time.”
You can never tell with GSP when it comes to his pre-fight commentary as the secretive champion likes to keep his thoughts to himself until after the scrap. However, it appears that he knows that he has to push the pace on Alves in order to neutralize his striking power, as well as keep him off balance.
“And [this fight is ] not just for me, for my family in Brazil, for my family here, for my coaches,” an emotional Alves said. “It’s not just for me. Once I step in there, it’s not just going to be me, I’m going to have an army behind me. It’s going to be 300, 400, 500 guys with me in the Octagon. It’s not just going to be just me and GSP. It’s going to be GSP against an army, so he better be ready.”
To the surprise of no one, the meticulous GSP has that base covered as well.
“I trained myself to fight an army,” stated the welterweight king. “One man will never break me.”
It’s almost time for war. Can you believe that this fight is on a card where it’s not the main event???
Ngo-Stradamus’ EARLY thoughts: GSP (-340) Defeats Alves (+250) via 4thRound TKO
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