Trainer: If Georges St. Pierre Returns, Rematch with Johny Hendricks Makes Sense

By Staff Nov 28, 2013

Trainer Firas Zahabi is giving Georges St. Pierre a chance to rest and recover from his split decision over Johny Hendricks on Nov. 16 at UFC 167.

After the fight, St. Pierre said he needed to take a break from MMA. Eventually Zahabi will sit down with him and discuss his future, and if the champ does want to continue fighting, then the Tristar Gym head coach believes a rematch with Hendricks makes sense.

“If Georges wants to keep fighting, I think it does,” Zahabi told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show on Friday.

The fight was a grueling 25-minute affair that many observers believe Hendricks should have won. Regardless, Zahabi picked up a few things from the encounter.

“Definitely we learned a lot about Johny Hendricks,” he said. “Johny Hendricks showed a lot of different skills. One thing, he showed a very nice jab that I haven’t seen him really use. He showed a lot more speed. He picked up a lot of speed. There’s a lot of different things I think Georges could have done better to maximize his leverage in the fight.”

Unlike many of his previous opponents, St. Pierre was unable to control Hendricks on the ground.

“That’s definitely one big thing we want to address,” Zahabi said. “In round five, he did take him down, but Johny was able to get up. There’s reasons why he was able to get up. We’ve got to address those and make sure he doesn’t get up the next time. The next time they fight, it would be an excellent advantage for Georges if he could take Johny down and hold him down.”

Despite Hendricks’ success in the fight and motivation for a rematch, Zahabi likes his fighter’s chances if they meet again.

“Georges is the best at a rematch,” he said. “If you look at his rematch with B.J. Penn, he did way better in the rematch. With Matt Hughes, it always got better every time. With Matt Serra, it got better. Georges is the king of rematches. When he fought [Josh] Koscheck the second time, he was even better. He’s very good at reading and adapting and progressing on what you do. Georges is a hard guy to trick twice. I’m really confident with Georges, especially in the rematches.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 26:42).


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