Tag Archive for Pierre’s
Georges St. Pierre’s long-time friend and Tristar Gym training partner Rory MacDonald doesn’t believe the former welterweight and middleweight champion is done with the sport.
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(“Lift these ten-pound dumbbells for just 20 minutes a day, and all your friends will think you’re on steroids — guaranteed.” / Props: GSP RUSHFIT)
In July, UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre called out his UFC 167 opponent Johny Hendricks to undergo random, unannounced drug-testing with him through the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), during the eight weeks before their fight. Though Hendricks’s initial response was “Heck ya!“, we didn’t hear a peep about GSP’s new anti-doping campaign/publicity stunt — until reports came out last week that Hendricks still hadn’t filed his paperwork.
According to a new report on MMAJunkie, St. Pierre will indeed go forward with enhanced drug testing conducted by VADA and will be tested by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, while Hendricks will only participate in the NSAC’s testing. Hendricks’s apparent refusal to cooperate with the VADA program raised our suspicions at first, but it turns out there’s another side to the story, and it’s one that paints the champ in an unflattering light.
St. Pierre and Hendricks’s gentlemen’s agreement about additional drug-testing began to fall apart when Hendricks’s manager Ted Ehrhardt discovered that VADA would be paying for GSP’s testing, contradicting St. Pierre’s initial claim that he would be paying for the testing of both fighters out of his own pocket. (“Hendricks’ camp balked at the idea of their opponent partnering with a drug testing body that was supposed to be independent, and they favored the WADA program,” writes Junkie.)
A conference call was arranged to sort it out, and that’s when things got complicated:
The UFC set up the call with the fighters’ managers, trainer Firas Zahabi, UFC officials and [NSAC Executive Director Keith] Kizer on the basis that St-Pierre said he would pay for additional screening, Kizer said. The promotion had approached the NSAC about the program after hearing the commission would use it in advance of a WBO title bout between welterweight champ Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez on Oct. 12 in Las Vegas, Kizer said.
The program, which was detailed by the NSAC during the call, is run by a WADA-accredited lab in Salt Lake City. The NSAC currently employs out-of-competition testing, but the new lab moves closer to what Kizer calls “enhanced drug testing,” or what many say is Olympic-style testing.
In Bradley and Marquez’s case, promoter Top Rank agreed to pay the costs associated with random tests and have the results forwarded to the NSAC. In St-Pierre and Hendricks’ case, however, it was undecided who would foot the bill on the WADA program, which the commission doesn’t cover, Kizer said.
The two sides split on who would pay for the testing. St-Pierre’s camp expressed a preference to use VADA, which they said had agreed to partially pay for costs, according to Kizer…When informed of the WADA program’s cost, St-Pierre’s camp said they preferred to use VADA.
“I made it quite clear that if you guys want to do additional testing on your own, that’s fine,” Kizer said. “But if you’re serious about it and you’re not looking to hire someone yourself to do it, I said, ‘This is how you do it. We’re happy to help you help us, but that’s a decision you need to make because you need to fund it.’”
Kizer, however, also was concerned when St-Pierre’s reps asked questions about the list of substances the WADA program tests for, in addition to when the drug tests would be conducted and who would conduct them.
“They were asking, ‘Well, what do you test for?’ My answer is always the same: We test for prohibited substances as listed on the WADA list,” Kizer said. “(They said), ‘Well, what does that mean? Does that mean HGH, does that mean this, does that mean that?’ Yes, it means it all. The answer then should have been, ‘OK.’”
After more discussion, St-Pierre’s rep, whom Kizer identified as the fighter’s lawyer, Rodolphe Beaulieu, stood firm on using VADA.
“OK, fine, use VADA,” Kizer said of his response. “That’s not the question. The question is do you want to do outside testing through the athletic commission? And basically, they said we want to know all the tests you do so Georges’ medical advisors can vet the test first before we decide.
“I said, ‘I will take that as a no. We will let you know if we’re going to do any testing on our own. Goodbye.’”
Kizer said Beaulieu then tried to backtrack by saying St-Pierre wasn’t opposed to the WADA program.
“The guy actually had the gall – this Rodolphe guy – (to say), ‘Well, no, that’s not what we meant. We’re happy to do it once we get this additional information, but I’m going to be gone for the next seven days, and I’m unavailable via cell phone or email.’ It’s like, whatever dude. It was so ridiculous. But I don’t hold any of that against Georges St-Pierre. As far as I know, he doesn’t even know about these things…
“I don’t know if it’s just his people being overly aggressive, or trying to act as agents of VADA – I have no clue, and I don’t care,” Kizer said. “But when an athlete’s representative is basically saying, ‘Well, he’s interested in perhaps doing enhanced testing, but we need to know – and more importantly, his medical advisors need to know – all the ins and outs of the testing before he’ll agree to it,’ that’s a no. That’s a refusal, and that’s fine.
“Fighters are able to do this testing (from VADA). But I’m not looking to being used in this pissing match with these athletes saying, ‘I’m going to do this enhanced testing. If my opponent doesn’t, that means he’s dirty.’ No, it doesn’t. If they want to play those games, that’s between them. I’m not going to take any sides. Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks have both been great licensees in the past. I expect them to be great licensees in the future. But they definitely both will be tested by the commission. How often, and when, is up to us.”
Talk about losing control of a story. For once in his career, George St. Pierre was going to be the guy implying that his opponent might be using PEDs, instead of the guy who’s constantly fielding those accusations himself. But now, the agreement is off because his lawyer needed to know exactly which substances would be tested for. (To say nothing about the weird backtracking on his offer to pay for the whole thing. Jeez dude, check out the price list beforehand.)
St. Pierre’s intention to pursue VADA testing was done with the express purpose to battle the perception — mostly held by his opponents — that he’s a possible drug cheat. But now, this story will only give more credence to the idea that GSP has something to hide.
Bring NASA! Georges St. Pierre’s trainer explains hand wrap controversy from Nick Diaz camp at UFC 158
It seems Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre wasn’t walking a straight line ahead of his much-anticipated title defense against Nick Diaz last weekend (March 16, 2013) at UFC 158, according to the Stockton slugger’s camp.
St. Pierre’s head trainer at TriStar Gym, Firas Zahabi, says Team Diaz was overly concerned with the French-Canadian’s hand wraps prior to the bout and were insisting on disrupting his warm-up routine in order to check and double-check them.
During his recent appearance on “The MMA Hour,” Zahabi explained the locker room incident:
“I was outside when Mike Ricci was fighting. So, right when I came in, I saw Jake Shields waiting at the door, so I said hello to him. I didn’t know what he was doing there, and when I walked into the room they were like ‘Hey, they’re not letting us, they’re interrupting the warm-up.’ I was more than happy to let them check the hand wraps, more than happy. But they told me they already did, Jake had already come in and checked the hand wraps, so I said, ‘You know what, not more than that, because it will never end.’”
According to Firas, he didn’t want Shields checking the wraps over and over because then that would lead to checking up on the rest of “GSP’s” gear.
For the trainer, he was more than willing to let Shields and Co. have all of St. Pierre’s gear after the fight to have them sent to a laboratory for observations, he just didn’t want his pupil’s warm-up interrupted:
“Then it will be checking his cup. Then it will be checking his shorts, then, what else? We’re warming up here, you don’t have infinite time to warm up. We’re going to go through a routine, it’s not going to be interrupted, the commission came in and said ‘Please do check it again.’ The referee came in and checked the gloves and I said ‘You know what, bring NASA, if someone from the NASA office is out there, bring them in and let them check, anybody who wants to check anything, you can have the hand wraps after the fight. You can have the gloves, send them to any laboratory. You want, bring VADA in here right after, before, during, whatever you want.’ But, I don’t want them to call the shots. I don’t want them to tell me when we’re warming up and when we’re not warming up, we’re not going to do that.”
In 2009, former WBO and IBF welterweight boxing champion Antonio Margarito was suspended after his loss to Shane Mosley after it was discovered his corner man, Javier Capetillo, had indeed loaded his hand wraps in an effort to gain an advantage over “Sugar” because according to Capetillo, he knew “We shouldn’t have taken the fight.”
Ultimately, the trainer took full blame for the incident and revealed he had done it without the knowledge of Margarito. “El Tornado de Tijuana” went on to lose two of his next three fights to Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto.
As of now, there have been no reports of any illegal hand wraps reported by the Quebec Athletic Commission in regards to 170-pound kingpin, St. Pierre.
What say you Maniacs, were all of these concerns and theories from the Diaz fight team attempts to simply get into “Rush’s” head — something Firas says might have been their main objective — and distract him ahead of the title fight?
Diligent or belligerent?
(Coors Light?! And here we thought Canadians were passionate about the quality of beer they drink.)
A little over a year ago, Georges St. Pierre was riding high. He had defended his belt for the sixth straight time against Jake Shields at an event that both obliterated North American attendance records and satisfied his home country’s need for bloodshed without having to sacrifice his first born child, as is tradition. Although he was being bashed by some critics for his apparent lack of finishing power, “Rush” would quickly meet a challenger that would bring out the inner killer his fans had been waiting for since UFC 83. Needless to say, things were going well for old GSP.
And then he took an arrow to the knee.
Yes, after blowing out his ACL, the welterweight kingpin was forced out of action for so long that even his stand-in champion went missing in an apparent attempt to find him. In the time since we last saw St. Pierre, his beloved homeland of Canada eeked out a respectable 36th place in the Summer Olympics, celebrated the 60th anniversary of one of their biggest television programs, and even closed the book on one of the most bizarre crimes in the country’s history. So overall, it was a decent year for any Canadian not named Georges St. Pierre.
But come November 17th, all that will change for at least one man, as GSP is set to finally make his triumphant return to the cage at UFC 154. And to celebrate his return, we’ve decided to dig up the fight that started it all. It took place in January of 2002 in Montreal and pitted the future champ against future UFC/WEC bantamweight (sheesh) Ivan Menjivar in his professional debut.
As was the case in Jon Jones’ UFC debut against Andre Gusmao, we can see a similar yet less refined fighter in GSP here. Watch in awe as he tests out the superman punch that would eventually find it’s way onto the Sportscenter top 10 when he used it on BJ Penn at UFC 94. Marvel at his superhuman ability to thwart a takedown as he would against Josh Koscheck at UFC 74. But we’ll give Menjivar credit where credit is due; his experience surely helped, but couldn’t possibly make up for his definitive size disadvantage, yet he still managed to take GSP down. Sean Connery approves.
But once St. Pierre is able to capitalize on a Menjivar trip around the 8:40 mark, he unleashes a hailstorm of punches and elbows that, while not enough to put Menjivar out, are apparently enough to get the ref to jump in and call the bout. Definitely an odd ending to an otherwise great bout. St. Pierre would go on to win his next six bouts before being armbarred just before the bell by Matt Hughes at UFC 50 in his first ever welterweight title shot.
If you ever wanted to tie things up, Matt Hughes, now is the time.
The UFC’s Welterweight division has been going nowhere fast for quite some time now. In the time since champ Georges St. Pierre was sidelined with an injury and lengthy recovery, we’ve controversially crowned a interim king who’d prefer to sit and wait for the champion to reemerge rather than fight the rest of the weight class’s top contenders, which is pretty much the exact opposite of what an interim champ is supposed to do.
Now, finally, it looks like frustrated fans have some good news: Carlos Condit has a date with “Rush” marked on his calendar. The bad news? It’s written in pencil and we still have to wait five months to see it.
As reported by Sherdog.com, UFC 154, slated to go down on November 17th in Montreal, will feature the ‘unification’ of the two Welterweight straps. St. Pierre last defended his title against Jake Shields at UFC 129 in April of 2011. Assuming that Georges recovers in time for this scrap, will nineteen months of ring rust make for an even more conservative performance from the champ?
Also on the card, Johny Hendricks will square off with Martin Kampmann for a title shot against the winner of the GSP-Condit bout. Expect Kampmann to handle the pressures of a number-one contender bout well; he fought for and won a shot at this very title just last weekend with his come-from-behind victory over Jake Ellenberger. Huh…didn’t see that one coming.
If things go to hell and GSP isn’t fully recovered in time for the bout, look for “The Hitman” to step up and face Condit for the interim title. “The Natural Born Killer” has previously stated that he’d like a chance to avenge his last loss to Kampmann in the event that GSP’s return is delayed.