Throughout George St-Pierre’s (soon to be) hall of fame career in the UFC’s welterweight division, he has seen practically every variation of mind games which currently exist in combat sports. Several of his past opponents, B.J. Penn and Josh Koscheck come to mind immediately, have tried to get under the French-Canadian’s skin in one way or another and, in the majority of cases at least, it was St-Pierre who emerged victorious.
In a matter of days, St-Pierre will end his self-imposed four year hiatus from the UFC when he returns in the main event of the organisation’s return to Madison Square Garden in the main event of UFC 217 to challenge Michael Bisping for his middleweight title and is contending with no shortage of trash talk from the Englishman in the run-in. Though, as St-Pierre said to Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, he says that he sees through Bisping’s taunts.
“He’s playing always the same song. He’s terrified of me wrestling him. Terrified,” St-Pierre said. “In every interview he does, he’s begging me to stand and bang with him. In every interview. … I mean, if you don’t know the ground (game), you shouldn’t be in MMA. You should be in kickboxing.”
In his UFC career to date, St-Pierre has landed 74% of his takedowns, which is an astounding figure when you realise that he had no formal wrestling training when he began his MMA career.
To date, many of St-Pierre’s victories have been predicated on his potent wrestling game and many assume that to be his most likely path to victory against Bisping.
“Fighting on the ground is part of the game, and he’s terrified. So he wants me to be like, ‘Oh, okay, I’m going to stand and bang with you.’ I’m going to use all my tools,” St-Pierre added. “Not only one tool, but all of them. That’s a mind game that he’s trying to play.”