UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and interim champion Carlos Condit met with the media today to hype up their UFC 154 bout set for Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.
Above is the video of the UFC 154 pre-fight press conference and after the jump you can find quotes from both St. Pierre and Condit.
Georges St. Pierre
On whether he doubted his ability to return:
“I always have doubt. I’m always scared but you know what? My confidence comes from the way I prepare myself and I couldn’t do anything more than what I did. I’m the most well prepared that I could be and that’s why I am so confident. I left nothing, you know. I give it all and I didn’t cut corners. I did everything to be the best I could be. I put it all together and I’m happy to be there.”
The difficulties of returning:
“What happened was you can be in shape but being in fighting shape is something very different and when you haven’t done something for a very long time you lose the efficiency. So I remember when I first got back to sparring it was very hard for me. I got tired very fast, I was too stiff and it took maybe a month to get it all back and now I feel better than I actually was before I got hurt.”
When St. Pierre finally started to realize things were coming together:
“What happened is you hit a wall, you know. It was hard. I’m a very proud person and I didn’t look good in training first when I just get back and I’m a proud person, I used to be the best where I am and do well against everybody. I came back and it didn’t happen that way. I got very shocked and it’s more of a pride thing. That’s what made me push through that wall and now I’m better than I was.”
On the pressure and potential of stopping Condit:
“No but I’ve been changing a lot of things in my training and when you think too much you over analyze stuff and sometimes you miss an opportunity so I’m going to be more opportunistic. That’s my goal in this fight to be more opportunistic. Let it flow.
It’s a tough task but I work hard and there’s always a first time for everything but Carlos is a very tough challenge. That’s my job, that’s what I train for.”
On why the two have never trained together:
“I don’t go there very often. I went there one time and he was there but it just didn’t happen. I went there to help Rashad Evans get ready for a fight. So my main point when I was there was not training for myself, it was training for Rashad. I was there to help Rashad. Most of the times I was getting ready, Greg [Jackson] was coming to Montreal to help me train. I was not going to Albuquerque so that’s why maybe we didn’t cross paths very often but he had similar training partners but never trained together.”
St. Pierre shed a little light on his new training philosophy:
“I was overtraining. Overtraining is not just physically but it’s also mentally. I was travelling a lot, especially for my camp. Now instead of travelling a lot I’ve changed a lot of things in my training. I’ve put more of a focus on recuperation and also I brought the training partners and trainers from outside to Montreal instead of me going to them. It costs more money of course but I think it’s going to pay off. It’s a good thing.
Yeah I believe I’m different. I’m different than I was. I’m a more improved version but because I changed my scheduled, especially my last fight I was kind of burned out mentally and physically and I don’t feel that way now. I’m happy to be here and I have a smile on my face. You used to see me before a fight and I was like oh god another, I was tired and I wanted to get to the end right away. Now I try to appreciate every second of everything that I live now. If I’m doing the weigh in, the media or the fight, I want to appreciate every second of it because I appreciate how important it is for me and I want to be able to live to feel that forever.”
On how different his chances are now compared to 2011:
“I would say that my chances this time around are substantially better. I’ve had a year to really work on things in my game, work on skills that I’m going to need to compete with and beat Georges so I would say I feel like I have a much better chance this time around."
Was the Diaz fight the most satisfying to date:
“No I wouldn’t say that’s the most satisfying win. I would have liked to have finished, I’m always looking to finish. I feel like it showed some evolution in my game. I was able to show some different aspects and show that I’m not just a one trick pony. I’m able to implement a comprehensive, smart gameplan. Hopefully in this fight I can bring some of that but a newer, better version of some of those skills.”
On what he can take away from going 5 rounds with Diaz:
“Yeah I think so. Nick Diaz is known for his endurance. He’s known for his pace. I was able to match that pace, if not exceed it. Georges is also known his pace and known for his endurance so I think that’s definitely – that was a great fight to help me get ready to fight Georges.”
On how to answer St. Pierre's takedowns:
“Well like you said, Georges is one of the best in the business when it comes to the takedown. His timing is impeccable. You know, I just feel that I have a well-rounded game and I will be comfortable in any position the fight goes. With that I will be able to just do my thing and not worry so much about the takedowns.”
Thoughts on fighting in St. Pierre's backyard:
“This isn’t my first time in this situation. Many times in my career I’ve stepped into somebody’s backyard. Ultimately it’s going to be Georges and myself in the cage and his fans and his hometown, sorry to say, can’t go with him. So ultimately it comes down to who’s better prepared who can implement their game plan and impose their will."
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