GSP coach: Don’t get wound up in the words

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

“Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.”
Mike Tyson

In a discipline where earning a black belt is a high, high achievement, New Zealand John Danaher is a genius. Danaher will be in UFC welterweight Georges St-Pierre’s corner on Saturday, and he likes his charge’s chances vs. challenger Nick Diaz.

Fans have driven the odds to nearly 5-1 in GSP’s favor, based on the feeling that the Canadian’s wrestling stylistically measures up well against Diaz’s boxing and aggressive guard.

However, Danaher recently appeared on The MMA Hour, and says it is more complex than that.

“You can’t just put out these simplistic blanket statements that Diaz is better at jiu-jitsu, Diaz is better at boxing,” said Danaher. “There’s aspects within those games where one of them is superior than the other. And the one that will be successful is the one who can manage to keep the fight for as long as possible in those niche areas where they feel they have superiority.”

“Nick seemed to think he was wronged more than anyone. I would say it went in the other direction. Secondly, you must remember, these are professional athletes. You can talk about emotions, you can talk about words, but ultimately, it’s a physical fight. Once the first punch gets thrown, all those words, all those emotions, they go right out the window. It comes down to the technique and preparation of the athletes involved in who prevails. Don’t get wound up in words and emotion. Both of these guys are highly experienced professional athletes, and ultimately what determines the winner is physical preparation, skill set and knowledge. It’s not about emotion. Emotions don’t win fights. Techniques do.”

“We tend to remember different characters rather than characters who are all the same as us. As I said, I think there are many things about Nick Diaz that are laudable and good. I admire his dedication. I admire his work ethic. I think he trains very, very hard. So, you can’t say Nick Diaz is all bad for the sport. You can’t say he’s all good for the sport. He’s a polarizing figure. He’s very good in some ways, and not so good in others.”

In addition to discussing Saturday’s fight with Diaz, Danaher also talked the potential superfight with Anderson Silva.

“You can never say of anyone fighting Anderson Silva that Anderson doesn’t have a very good chance,” said Danaher. “Anderson is a tremendously gifted mixed martial arts athlete with genuine knockout power in all four limbs. That’s something you don’t see very often, but I do believe that if Georges did fight him, he’d have an excellent chance at victory. It would be more dangerous in Georges’ case because of the considerable size difference, but yes, I do believe Georges would have an excellent chance for victory even against someone as formidable and gifted as Anderson Silva.”

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