Trainer Favors Move to Lightweight Before Middleweight for GSP

By Staff Oct 26, 2011

It would be a dream matchup for UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre to move up to middleweight and challenge titleholder Anderson Silva.

If GSP is going to try a new weight division, though, his trainer would instead recommend a drop to lightweight.

“Georges is not a very big welterweight,” coach Firas Zahabi told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “People might think he is. He’s actually not very big. Him making 170 [pounds] is extremely easy for him. Honestly it’s probably one of the easiest weight cuts for all the fighters I coach, and I coach a lot of professional fighters. Georges making 170 is getting a little too easy for him. … Who knows what the cards hold, but if we don’t have a team member that’s champion or anything like that, I would recommend to him to go down first before going up.”

Right now they do have a team member that’s champion, however, in Frankie Edgar. That’s the only reason Zahabi hasn’t already suggested that St. Pierre should try to capture the lightweight belt in addition to his welterweight title.

“Obviously we’re part of the Renzo Gracie team and we’d never fight Frankie Edgar because we’re also Renzo Gracie fighters,” Zahabi said. “But if that wasn’t the case, I’d rather [St. Pierre] go down to 155.”

Zahabi explained that St. Pierre has a very lean body type that doesn’t put on much muscle unless he’s doing Olympic-style weightlifting. That’s part of his regimen now but could be reduced or eliminated to lower his walking weight and set up a cut to 155 pounds.

“I really think he could lose a little bit of muscle,” Zahabi said. “... Just doing the weight cut from maybe 175, he would make it down to [155] quite easily.”

That’s not to say Zahabi is ruling out a middleweight matchup against Silva at some point. He supports a move in either direction, up or down, as long as the timing is right. At the end of the day, the aim is to hold two titles in two divisions simultaneously. In Zahabi’s view, the first fighter to pull it off in the UFC will never be forgotten.

“I’m sure once it happens for the first time, it will open up a floodgate and over the years we’ll have more and more champions with two belts at the same time,” Zahabi said. “But the first guy that’s going to break that door open, he’s going to be somebody special and somebody that is always going to be remembered.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:28:10).


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