In order to ensure GSP stayed at peak form throughout the years, one move Zahabi would make was to pay any of GSP’s training partners $5,000 if they knocked him out.
“We reach those high intensity levels periodically through the year, and we have to do it a certain way so that it’s fun. Georges was on your show, and he was saying I was trying to kill him in the practice room. He’s right, but I do it so rarely. I do it so periodically. I make it a joke. I brought the guys in a room, and I was watching them spar with Georges, and they don’t want to touch his face. This is when he was like a mega-star, when he was the champ. Nobody wants to try to double leg him; nobody wants to try to hurt him. They’re like, ‘I’m not going to come here in his house and try to show him.’ There’s a respect thing. They’re starstruck, these young kids. I would bring in these young kids, and I would be like, ‘Listen, guys.’ I would give them a speech: ‘The first guy to double leg him, the first guy to put him out, I’ll give a $5,000 reward. If you knock Georges out, I’ll give you 5,000 bucks. If you put Georges on his back, if you take him down, put him on his back, I’ll stop the whole practice and praise you for 20 minutes in front of everybody in the gym.’ And students don’t get praised by me very often. Georges would be like, ‘Oh my God, these guys are coming after me!’ So he would get riled up. I would do this periodically. We’re talking about world title fights, stuff’s on the line. I need these guys to show me where Georges is missing something. Because when you’re having this ‘perfect practice,’ and you win all the time, what do you work on? Nothing went wrong, there’s nothing to fix. So there were times I would really red-light him,” Zahabi said on The Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show.
GSP was only finished one time by KO/TKO in his twenty eight fight pro MMA career,which came against former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Serra at UFC 69.
Nobody was able to collect the $5,000 bounty against GSP, although somebody did come pretty close before the money was on the line.
“He’s been dropped once in practice pretty badly. But the money wasn’t on the line that time. There was no prize for that. One time he got dropped in practice, and I wanted to pull the plug. It was for a world title fight. He was fighting Dan Hardy,” says Zahabi.
Former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes was the only other fighter to defeat GSP, but his win came by way of submission.