Georges St Pierre’s head coach Firas Zahabi made the shocking claim that GSP walked into a title fight with a concussion.
While as a guest on Joe Rogan’s MMA Podcast, Zahabi recounted a story where St-Pierre would get knocked out by a training partner two weeks before a 2010 fight with Dan Hardy. Zahabi could have ended sparring that day, but didn’t want to kill GSP’s confidence.
“There was one more round (of sparring), and he said to me ‘Coach, let me finish the round, I’m okay. Let me finish the next round,’” Zahabi told Joe Rogan. “And I felt that if I pulled it, I would’ve killed his confidence, totally. So I said ‘Okay, you could do the next round.”
“And I told the other guy he was sparring with, ‘Don’t land a single glove.’ I whispered it to him, ‘Not a single glove on him. Just take a mauling.’ And Georges went in that next round, not knowing that the other guy was not allowed to hit him at all.”
Zahabi was certain St-Pierre suffered a concussion, especially when GSP had no clue what day or time it was.
“The UFC was there filming,” Zahabi recalled. “So I had to go ‘Look, guys, that footage can never air. That footage has got to disappear.’ And they were like ‘Yeah, don’t worry, we understand the fight’s on the line.’
“That’s why that fight, he was doing a lot of wrestling. We didn’t want to even chance – I was sure he had a concussion when he went in that fight.”
“I just let the fighter decide now unless I really feel it’s urgent,” Zahabi explained. “Which is rare that I’ve had to actually intervene, because at the end of the day, when are you 100%? It rarely happens. There’s always something.”
“That left hook (from Hardy), if it would’ve touched Georges, Georges would’ve been out like a light,” he added. “He’s got a crazy left hook, plus, Georges was hurt two weeks before. Thank God it worked out well.”
St-Pierre ended up defeating Hardy at UFC 111 via unanimous decision, marking his fourth title defense since unifying the UFC welterweight title against Matt Serra in 2008.
Quotes/Transcription: Bloody Elbow