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Morning Report: Coach John Danaher says Georges St-Pierre’s weight-gain program was a ‘disaster’

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On Saturday evening at UFC 217, Georges St-Pierre returned to MMA after a four-year layoff to win the UFC middleweight title with a stirring third-round submission of champion Michael Bisping. It was the culmination of over a year of fight negotiations between St-Pierre, the UFC, and Bisping and resulted in one of the biggest events of the year for Dana White and company; it also apparently almost didn’t happen.

St-Pierre’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach John Danaher revealed yesterday on his Instagram account that “Rush” had serious problems with his weight-gain program for the fight, such that his coaches were considering calling off the fight.

Experiment with mixed results: The victory by Welterweight Georges St-Pierre at middleweight to gain a new world title was a bold experiment with a truly great result, but was not without its problems. The fundamental problem was always going to be size. Mr St-Pierre always walked into the octagon around 189 pounds on fight night throughout his career. This made him a very averaged sized Welterweight. In order to move up to middle weight, Mr St-Pierre took on a nutritional program designed to facilitate weight gain and hold weight during the rigors of a full fight camp. The result was a disaster. Two weeks into camp he developed severe stomach pains and vomiting. Initially it was suspected that he had an illness, but all tests came back negative. The situation deteriorated to the point that for two weeks of a six week camp there was no training at all. At a critical point we gave him a two day window to either get back in the gym or call off the fight. The first grappling workout he had he vomited heavily prior to workout and then went to work. The next day he had the worst standing sparring session I have ever seen him have. Finally the stomach issue issue resolved itself to a degree where he could train satisfactorily and the workouts improved dramatically- though the vomiting continued all the way up to the day of the fight. He was eating so much more than usual in an attempt to keep weight on and stay close to 200 pounds. When he went through the final weight cut the big question was, would he return to his bigger size? The answer was a resounding no. On fight night he weighed in at 190.5 – almost identical to his usual fight weight as a Welterweight. The great effort to increase size just didn’t work out and Mr St-Pierre went in to win the title as a mid sized Welterweight. It seems his body just finds a comfort zone around 190 pounds for fighting after a weight cut and no amount of work to change that has any effect. It’s one thing to gain weight, it’s another to do so through a fight camp culminating in a weight cut and then regain the weight. It seems his body has an optimal weight for athletic performance which cannot be drastically changed

A post shared by John Danaher (@danaherjohn) on Nov 9, 2017 at 1:28pm PST

“Experiment with mixed results: The victory by Welterweight Georges St-Pierre at middleweight to gain a new world title was a bold experiment with a truly great result, but was not without its problems,” Danaher wrote. “The fundamental problem was always going to be size. Mr St-Pierre always walked into the octagon around 189 pounds on fight night throughout his career. This made him a very averaged sized Welterweight. In order to move up to middle weight [sic], Mr St-Pierre took on a nutritional program designed to facilitate weight gain and hold weight during the rigors of a full fight camp. The result was a disaster.

“Two weeks into camp he developed severe stomach pains and vomiting. Initially it was suspected that he had an illness, but all tests came back negative. The situation deteriorated to the point that for two weeks of a six week camp there was no training at all. At a critical point we gave him a two day window to either get back in the gym or call off the fight. The first grappling workout he had he vomited heavily prior to workout and then went to work. The next day he had the worst standing sparring session I have ever seen him have. Finally the stomach issue issue resolved itself to a degree where he could train satisfactorily and the workouts improved dramatically- though the vomiting continued all the way up to the day of the fight.”

St-Pierre had previously spent the entirety of his career competing at 170 pounds and had repeatedly stated he only wanted to move up in weight if it was done correctly by adding natural weight on. And though St-Pierre did appear larger in the octagon on Saturday evening, apparently the weight-gain program his team implemented did not in fact yield results, with Danaher writing that St-Pierre ended up competing at roughly the same weight he did for welterweight contests.

“He was eating so much more than usual in an attempt to keep weight on and stay close to 200 pounds. When he went through the final weight cut the big question was, would he return to his bigger size? The answer was a resounding no. On fight night he weighed in at 190.5 – almost identical to his usual fight weight as a Welterweight. The great effort to increase size just didn’t work out and Mr St-Pierre went in to win the title as a mid sized Welterweight. It seems his body just finds a comfort zone around 190 pounds for fighting after a weight cut and no amount of work to change that has any effect. It’s one thing to gain weight, it’s another to do so through a fight camp culminating in a weight cut and then regain the weight. It seems his body has an optimal weight for athletic performance which cannot be drastically changed.”

This revelation from Danaher is sure to add fuel to the speculations that St-Pierre won’t be sticking around middleweight for long, an idea St-Pierre himself hasn’t exactly shied away from.


MUST-READ STORIES

GSP. Georges St-Pierre noncommittal about UFC future or fighting Robert Whittaker.

Rampage. Quinton Jackson signs new Bellator contract.

Unbearable. Georges St-Pierre explains what he hates about fighting.

Thug Rose. Rose Namajunas unsure if Joanna Jedrzejczyk deserves an immediate rematch.


VIDEO STEW

The MMA Hour and (After) Hour from yesterday’s special interviews.

Worth a watch.

Greg Hardy.

Chael on Evan Tanner.


LISTEN UP

The Naked Truth. Back in your earholes discussing title changes and Bisping’s reign.

UFC Unfiltered. Matt Brown and Dustin Poirier interviews.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Shevchenko ain’t here for it.

Ice cold.

Bobby Knux being a great guy.

Speaking of great guys.

Till with the shade.

Manuwa trying to get a title shot.

Tony staying on his grind.

GSP at the NYSE.

Johnson saying he’s taking on Darren Elkins.

The next fight is on!! And oh is it a great one for many many reasons! THE #1 FIRST EVER hometown fight in #stlouis plus my debut into a new division!! JAN 14th! #fightime #saintlouis #stlouis #teammenace #teammj #MichaelJohnson #ufc#cardinals #blues #budlight #budweiser #scotttradecenter #anheuserbusch #grindtime #titannutrition #homecoming #hometown #home #january #iseestraps

A post shared by Michael johnson (@menace155) on Nov 9, 2017 at 11:52am PST

Vitor with Salt Bae.

@nusr_et great meat! #teambelfort #belfortfamily @familiabelfort

A post shared by Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (@vitorbelfort) on Nov 9, 2017 at 1:12pm PST

USADA.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Jason Knight (20-3) vs. Gabriel Benitez (19-6); UFC Fresno, Dec. 9.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2012: Rich Franklin fought for the last time, getting knocked out by Cung Le at UFC on Fuel TV 6.

2016: Douglas Lima knocked out Andrey Koreshkov to reclaim the Bellator welterweight championship at Bellator 164.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Another weekend, another fight card. UFC Norfolk is a sneaky good one so everyone enjoy the fights and see y’all Monday.


EXIT POLL


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.


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