Former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre returned after a four-plus year absence to defeat Michael Bisping and win the UFC Middleweight Title at UFC 217.
John Danaher is a longtime coach of GSP and he claims the weight gaining program the fighter was on for UFC 217 turned out to be a disaster. The coach made his statement through a lengthy post on Instagram:
Experiment with mixed results: The victory by Welterweight Georges St-Pierre at middleweight to gain a new world title was a bold experiment with a truly great result, but was not without its problems. The fundamental problem was always going to be size. Mr St-Pierre always walked into the octagon around 189 pounds on fight night throughout his career. This made him a very averaged sized Welterweight. In order to move up to middle weight, Mr St-Pierre took on a nutritional program designed to facilitate weight gain and hold weight during the rigors of a full fight camp. The result was a disaster. Two weeks into camp he developed severe stomach pains and vomiting. Initially it was suspected that he had an illness, but all tests came back negative. The situation deteriorated to the point that for two weeks of a six week camp there was no training at all. At a critical point we gave him a two day window to either get back in the gym or call off the fight. The first grappling workout he had he vomited heavily prior to workout and then went to work. The next day he had the worst standing sparring session I have ever seen him have. Finally the stomach issue issue resolved itself to a degree where he could train satisfactorily and the workouts improved dramatically- though the vomiting continued all the way up to the day of the fight. He was eating so much more than usual in an attempt to keep weight on and stay close to 200 pounds. When he went through the final weight cut the big question was, would he return to his bigger size? The answer was a resounding no. On fight night he weighed in at 190.5 - almost identical to his usual fight weight as a Welterweight. The great effort to increase size just didn’t work out and Mr St-Pierre went in to win the title as a mid sized Welterweight. It seems his body just finds a comfort zone around 190 pounds for fighting after a weight cut and no amount of work to change that has any effect. It’s one thing to gain weight, it’s another to do so through a fight camp culminating in a weight cut and then regain the weight. It seems his body has an optimal weight for athletic performance which cannot be drastically changed
This is just more fuel for the rumors that the brand new UFC Middleweight Champion isn’t going to be returning to the division he now rules. GSP recently had a conference call and he stated during the call that he may consider dropping down to welterweight.
UFC President Dana White also stated shortly after UFC 217 that GSP’s next fight would be a title unification bout against UFC Interim Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker.
It was at UFC 217 that GSP competed for the first time in his career at middleweight, because the new champion had fought every fight before then at welterweight.