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King Georges' Bout Breakdown

Georges St-Pierre’s trainer John Danaher breaks down his student’s five seminal bouts.


UFC 50
October 22, 2004
GSP vs. Matt Hughes

“This was a coming-of-age fight for Georges. It showed the quiet, shy, small-town kid that his apprenticeship was over. He was worthy of the big leagues. It gave him a clear sense of direction—‘improve my ground grappling and fight my way through every other contender back into a title fight.’¿”

UFC 58
March 4, 2006
GSP vs. BJ Penn

“In the one critical minute Georges had between rounds he had to get over the shock and pain of a heavily scratched cornea, take stock of a badly lost round, and figure out how to switch game plans. There and then, the young fighter bravely stepped into a complete shift of tactics that brought victory in the face of seemingly certain defeat.”

UFC 65
November 18, 2006
GSP vs. Matt Hughes

“In their first clash, Georges went into the fight expecting to lose. This was the first time I saw him go into a fight expecting to win. This was not arrogance. It was simply recognition that the holes in his game that had doomed his first attempt were gone and that there was simply nothing Hughes could do to stop him.”

UFC 69
April 7, 2007
GSP vs. Matt Serra

“The loss to Matt Serra forced Georges to reconsider his overall approach from the ground up. Every aspect of fight preparation, training, and strategy was analyzed and reorganized along the lines most likely to lead to decisive victory. The transition from talented young amateur to full-time professional athlete had begun.”

UFC 94
January 31, 2009
GSP vs. BJ Penn

“It was as close to a perfect performance as one can hope for, against one of the sport’s best athletes and one who had proven himself very dangerous. Widespread TV coverage of the fight and its buildup made it clear that Georges was no longer simply an MMA athlete, but an MMA superstar.”