St. Pierre still unsure about moving to 185
April, 22, 2011
By Franklin McNeil
Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty ImagesRoy Jones proved even the most talented fighters should make careful decisions with their weight.It’s time to tone down the volume on any talk of UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre moving up middleweight.
He isn’t close to making a decision on that matter. Besides, St. Pierre refuses to think of exiting the 170-pound class until he defeats Jake Shields.
The two meet April 30 at UFC 129 in Toronto. St. Pierre has prepared diligently for this showdown, but isn’t guaranteeing victory. He expects to win, but in case things don’t go his way, St. Pierre already has a Plan B in place. And it doesn’t involve fighting current UFC middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva.
“If Jake Shields is a better fighter than me, I don’t control that,” St. Pierre said on Thursday during the UFC 129 conference call. “The fight will happen, and the best man will win.
“I did my best. The things I can control, I did everything so that I can be at the top of my game. I claimed that [belt] twice before, and if I have to claim it a third time, I will do it.”
If St. Pierre successfully holds off Shields, it won’t be enough to force him out the welterweight door. He has stated previously that a move to 185 pounds would be permanent.
The reason: St. Pierre must add muscle to compete at 185, but would have to cut that muscle to fight again at welterweight. St. Pierre has given no indication he is willing to completely abandon the welterweight division. And he's seen the devastating impact cutting muscle had on the careers of other great fighters.
“Right now, I am a 170-pounder,” St. Pierre said. “If I were to fight at 185 pounds, it would be a complete reorientation of my career.
“We’ve seen [it] in the past with boxers like Roy Jones Jr. In my opinion, what ended Roy Jones’ career-winning streak, was when he went up in weight and tried to go back down. It’s not the fact that he went up; it’s when he tried to go back down that messed him up.
“For me, it’s a good example because Roy Jones was known as one of the best of all time before he started losing. It makes me think twice sometimes [about changing] weight; it’s not really going up that hurts you, sometimes it’s to go [back] down.”