UFC fighter St-Pierre says upcoming opponent insulted francophones
Published Wednesday, October 13, 2010 9:02AM EDT
MONTREAL - When Georges St-Pierre squares off against bitter rival Josh Koscheck on Dec. 11 in a championship fight at Montreal, the hometown hero is going to make his opponent pay for some unflattering remarks.
The last time both fighters met at UFC 74 in August 2007, Koscheck lost a three round unanimous decision to St-Pierre.
But whether it was deliberate or not, the 32-year-old fighter may have gotten under St-Pierre's skin recently during the reality TV show "The Ultimate Fighter."
Koscheck declared that he "did not like losing to nobody -- especially a French guy."
When St-Pierre met reporters Tuesday two months before his UFC 124 match up with Koscheck at the Bell Centre, he told reporters it was not the first time he's heard that kind of remark.
"It's not only insulting me, it's insulting a lot of francophone people," the welterweight champ said.
"A lot of these people are UFC fans who pay for their tickets so that he (Koscheck) can make money from it.
"What happened has just given me extra motivation to put my two knuckles into his chin."
St-Pierre also says he performs best when he goes up against "arrogant guys" like the 32-year-old fighter.
"That's a good thing, (when) you're under my skin, I think about you all the time, I'm more mentally prepared, more motivated," St-Pierre said.
The California-based Koscheck says it would be pretty lame if someone were to come after him for talking about "the French guy."
"I'm not racist, I'm half black, half white," he told The Canadian Press.
"I'm an entertainer and it's funny that comedians can go out and say anything they want about the French, about whites, about blacks, and they don't get slapped for it. But a fighter says something like that and I get slapped for it."
UFC President Dana White calls St-Pierre "one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world."
But he also says Koscheck, who started out as a wrestler, is not the same fighter that St-Pierre fought in 2007.
Koscheck says he could probably beat St-Pierre if it was a straight wrestling match, but it's mixed martial arts and that's what he's been working on over the past few years.
"I've gotten to become a complete fighter . . . I've been working on my ground game and my striking game so I think I've become a better fighter than the first time Georges and I met," he said.
"I'm going to be ready to come in here and put on a good show and come out with a victory, whether it's by submission, decision or knockout."
But the 29-year-old St-Pierre says he intends to take out Koscheck during the December championship fight.
"I want to finish the fight. If I win a decision I'm not happy," he said noting that's the way he won his last fight against Koscheck.
St-Pierre, who is on a seven fight winning streak, has already defeated a number of other top fighters in the 170-pound division, such as John Fitch and Thiago Alves.
The Montrealer has also beaten former champs Matt Hughes (twice) B.J. Penn (twice), Matt Serra and Sean Sherk.
Tickets for UFC 124 go on sale Saturday, Oct. 16.
Montreal tickets sales may beat the UFC's first visit to Vancouver last April when all tickets were snapped up in 30 minutes, becoming the fastest sellout ever for the mixed martial arts organization.
Tom Wright, who is in charge of the UFC's Canadian operations, says he's now looking forward to a match in Toronto next year.
"The Ontario government has sanctioned mixed martial arts in Ontario and the regulatory process is just started and we hope to have it completed by the end of the year," he told reporters.
Wright says discussions about a venue in Toronto have already started and "most likely we're looking at the first UFC event probably sometime mid-year."
He says UFC plans to hold three events in Canada in 2011 with Toronto sandwiched between Vancouver and Montreal.