I spent the past weekend at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV for a bachelor party (yes I’ve seen The Hangover; we booked this trip way before we heard about the movie). Anyways, we managed to book a room coincidentally in the very hotel where the 100th Ultimate Fighting Championship was taking place. I’ve never seen a single UFC event (because I’m too cheap to pay 55 bucks to watch it on TV), so I had no idea what to expect when my friends convinced me to head over to the MGM Grand and watch it on a massive TV with hundreds of other fans. The only guy I had heard of prior to watching the event was Brock Lesnar, a terrifying beast of a man who probably eats bullets for lunch and punches grizzly bears when he’s bored.
By the end of the three hour event, I left even more terrified of Lesnar, but far more impressed with the guys in the middle weight classes. These fighters all hover around the 180-190 weight and are built like absolute machines with zero body fat and incredible skills. Because I’m in that exact weight class, I realized what’s possible as far as athleticism and strength if I’m willing to work for it. One guy in particular stood out above the rest: Canadian mixed martial artist Georges St. Pierre. (GSP as he is known among fans). This guy rules. For those of you who have been following UFC for years and want to yell at me for being late to the party, last one on the bandwagon, etc., shut it! Better late than never, right?
GSP has black belts in both Kyokushin karate and Brazilian jiu jitsu. At age 7, he decided to learn karate to defend himself against a school bully, but it was watching Royce Gracie fight in 1993 at UFC 1 that inspired him to one day become a UFC champion. Since then, he’s gone on to study all kinds of other fighting styles (boxing, wrestling, etc.) to ‘diversify his portfolio’ and make sure his opponents would always have to guess how he’d attack next. On Saturday, fighting against a guy 20 lbs heavier than him (who used far stronger dehydration techniques to get down to the right weight class for the weigh-in), GSP put on a clinic and in five rounds managed to keep his championship title by dismantling Thiago Alves. GSP actually pulled his groin halfway through the 3rd round and proceeded to fight for two additional five-minute rounds.
The thing I loved about watching GSP fight was both his technical style (not a single weakness) and the sheer amount of strength, endurance, and muscle he can pack into 185 lbs. The guy has tree trunks for legs. Actual tree trunks! When I watched GSP fight, all I could think of was efficiency. There is no wasted fat on his body, and no wasted movement in the ring; every strike, punch, kick, tackle, or grapple is done because it’s the most efficient and productive move at that precise moment. Other than his pulled groin, GSP looked only slightly tired after going five rounds; his opponent on the other hand looked like he had just been run over by a train. You know my stance on efficiency, and Georges St. Pierre has buckets of it.
You can call me a GSP disciple and a converted UFC fan. That doesn’t mean I’m going to start taking steroids, buy a Tapout t-shirt, and get a terrible tattoo. No offense to you normal UFC fans out there…but to the rest of you, COME ON! I figure if I look like GSP and have his endurance, I’m doing something right, so expect a blog post in the future with his training and diet techniques. “That’s a crazy goal to have” you might say. Why not try to model yourself after the best, right? Other than training and eating right to look like GSP, but as soon as I can afford it, I plan on taking Capeoira classes (read about why here) as well.
Don’t worry Mom, I won’t be fighting anybody anytime soon – I like my face the way it is. Now, even if you don’t like UFC, hopefully you can appreciate this guy’s dedication to his art and the way he has completely transformed his body into a lethal weapon.
GSP! GSP! GSP!