Exclusive: Firas Zahabi Discusses GSP's Upcoming Fight Against Michael Bisping


With Georges St-Pierre’s much-anticipated UFC return at UFC 217 fast approaching, his trainer said people should expect GSP to win his upcoming title fight in typical GSP fashion.

Firas Zahabi, head coach of Tristar Gym, appeared on the "Holy Smokes MMA Podcast" at Fightful.com, to talk about GSP’s UFC 217 fight against UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping. While Zahabi declined to reveal much of GSP’s game plan, he did say to expect a slightly bigger GSP than what fans are accustomed to seeing. 

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“That’s not something I really want to say, but Georges will be fighting a bigger fighter. Georges will be a little bit bigger than he usually is. Look for Georges to be really busy, really smart, really technical. Expect him to execute the type of victory that he’s always done. Look for him to be energized,” Zahabi said.

When talking about GSP’s future and who he might fight next, Zahabi declined to give any indication of what the former UFC welterweight champion will do after UFC 217. Zahabi said he and his fighter are only focused on the task at hand, and that is to beat Bisping and capture the UFC middleweight champion.

“Right now, me personally, I don’t get involved in those types of politics. I just want to train him for this fight. I want to get him ready for this fight. For me, he needs to take it one fight at a time. What happens after that? There are so many things that can occur. I’m not worried about that and I haven’t given it any thought. Michael Bisping is the target, the obstacle now and that’s all I’m thinking now. That’s all I’m focusing on right now,” Zahabi said.

As far as GSP’s opponent is concerned, Zahabi recognizes Bisping as an incredibly tough and smart fighter in the octagon. Even with Bisping’s skills and efficiency, Zahabi still firmly believes GSP’s many tools and athleticism will set him apart from Bisping and be the deciding factor in their UFC 217 fight.

“Michael Bisping is a monster. He’s a very efficient fighter. He’s a very technical guy, he’s smart in there. He’s a beast and it will be a tough fight, but Georges has so many tools, so many dimensions, and Georges is the best athlete in the UFC. I think he’s going to have a lot of edges over Michael Bisping,” Zahabi said.

GSP, a lifelong welterweight in the UFC, will be fighting at middleweight for the first time in his UFC career, but had to deal with an eye injury. This prompted the GSP-Bisping fight, to be originally canceled, but has now since been rescheduled for the Madison Square Garden event. GSP will also be fighting in the UFC for the first time in about four years.

The "Holy Smokes MMA Podcast" with "Showdown" Joe Ferraro and Fightful managing editor Sean Ross Sapp is live every Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET. Zahabi's comments can be seen in the video above. Fightful will have complete coverage of UFC 217, which takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 4, including a post-UFC 217 podcast. 

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