Georges St-Pierre’s excelling performance at UFC 217 rock the MMA community, as he returned to the Octagon UFC after the hiatus of four years. Moreover, he made a shift and moved up to middleweight division. The experiment was such a success. St-Pierre wins the UFC middleweight title with an incredible third-round submission of Michael Bisping.
— UFC (@ufc) November 5, 2017
St-Pierre’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach John Danaher revealed on his Instagram that “Rush” had serious problems with his weight-gain program for UFC 217 fight, such that his coaches were considering calling off the fight at one point.
“Experiment with mixed results: The victory by Welterweight Georges St-Pierre at middleweight to gain a new world title was a bold experiment with a truly great result, but was not without its problems,” “The fundamental problem was always going to be size. St-Pierre always walked into the octagon around 189 pounds on fight night throughout his career. This made him a very averaged sized Welterweight. In order to move up to middleweight [sic], Mr. St-Pierre took on a nutritional program designed to facilitate weight gain and hold weight during the rigors of a full fight camp. The result was a disaster.
“Two weeks into camp he developed severe stomach pains and vomiting. Initially, it was suspected that he had an illness, but all tests came back negative. The situation deteriorated to the point that for two weeks of a six-week camp there was no training at all. At a critical point, we gave him a two-day window to either get back in the gym or call off the fight. The first grappling workout he had, he vomited heavily before workout and then went to work. The next day he had the worst standing sparring session I have ever seen him have. Finally, the stomach issue resolved itself to a degree where he could train satisfactorily, and the workouts improved dramatically- though the vomiting continued all the way up to the day of the fight.”
Georges St-Pierre had previously spent the whole of his career competing at 170 pounds and repeatedly mentioned he only wanted to move up in weight division if it was done correctly by adding more of natural weight on. However, St-Pierre did look larger in the octagon on Saturday evening, and the weight-gain strategy his team executed did not in fact yield results.
“He was eating so much more than usual in an attempt to keep weight on and stay close to 200 pounds. When he went through the final weight cut the big question was, would he return to his bigger size? The answer was a resounding no. On fight night he weighed in at 190.5 – almost identical to his usual fight weight as a Welterweight. The great effort to increase size just didn’t work out, and Mr St-Pierre went in to win the title as a mid-sized Welterweight. It seems his body just finds a comfort zone around 190 pounds for fighting after a weight cut and no amount of work to change that has any effect. It’s one thing to gain weight; it’s another to do so through a fight camp culminating in a weight cut and then regain the weight. It seems his body has an optimal weight for athletic performance which cannot be drastically changed.”
Georges St-Pierre, after downing a bottle of water, weighed in at 196.2 lbs on today's #UFC217 Embedded.
GSP:"I'm fucking small, goddamn!" pic.twitter.com/F2yawsHVHX
— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) November 2, 2017
Coach John’s revelations sure add some fire to the speculations that GSP might not stay longer at middleweight division.