“It is time to focus on my boxing,” St. Pierre said. “When I get to the other side of my career I don’t want to be one of those fighters who have been hit too many times, so they keep getting knocked out. If you have the opportunity to work with someone like Freddy, you take advantage.”
“It’s a challenge for me as much as it is for him,” Roach said. “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.”
“Georges is such a tremendous athlete, and he’s such a fast learner. 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.”
In his early UFC days, St. Pierre drove from Montreal to New York weekly to train at Renzo Gracie’s school. After he lost the UFC welterweight title to Matt Serra in a 2007 upset, he upped his training with Greg Jackson’s Albuquerque camp. Next was a stint working with the Canadian Olympic wrestling team, which has helped propel his current string of excellence in a division laden with accomplished wrestlers like Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch.
So St. Pierre working with Roach is simply the next logical step in the journey.
“When I won the title the first time, I got a big head,” St. Pierre said while picking at a baked chicken plate. “I didn’t respect Matt Serra like I should. I will never make that mistake again. You can never stop learning. You can never be too good.”
“This is my attitude when I go to the gym: Did I leave the gym that day a better fighter than I did when I came in? I’ve only been here a few days with Freddie and each time I left feeling like I was better.”
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