Georges has continued to focus mostly on training at Greg Jackson’s camp. His last two wins over Fitch and Penn were ideal demonstrations of his style and athleticism. These fights showed how he counters his opponents styles and as Jackson puts it, "finds their comfort zone and destroys it". When Fitch tried to wrestle, St. Pierre defended and attacked with brutal standup; when BJ tried to push the standup Georges took the fight to the ground and controlled the fight there. Countering an opponents attacks and imposing your own varied attack is the key to being a successful against any opponent. George is arguably the best wrestler in his division and that ability will be put to test in getting Alves out of his comfort zone. George’s power and speed is not in question but he knows that trading with a striker as powerful and skilled as Alves is a sure way to take a nap.
Thiago, who trains with American Top Team, has rattled off 7 UFC wins since his 2006 loss to Jon Fitch. Since that loss Alves has faced some of the most athletic wrestlers in the division including Parisiayn, Koscheck and Hughes…Turns out a great way to counter a wrestler is knees and fists. It also doesn’t hurt to be absolutely huge for your weight class. Alves has proven that he now defends well against wrestlers and has the ability to put anyone to sleep.
George and Thiago both agree this is the toughest opponent and the best striker St. Pierre has faced and as George learned the hard way, anyone with heavy hands is dangerous. So how can GSP win… control, striking, or submission, on the other hand Thiago is not going to outwork, control, or submit GSP he’s got one good chance and that’s a TKO.
The most likely scenario in this fight is a fast brutal opening from Thiago, with GSP surviving and then finding his range with kicks and finally turning things around in the second round with takedowns and a mixed attack from the top. As the fight wares on into the 4th round Georges conditioning and pace will provide many opportunities to end the fight via submission or TKO. It will take many swords to fall this bull, but he will fall late in the fight.
The odds have narrowed in the last few weeks and are pretty representative of the real probabilities in this fight with GSP winning 3 of every 4 meetings. Yes, if Thiago lands a solid combo he can put Georges away, but there’s no current value in chasing that bet. I'm Sticking with a standard 1 unit bet on St. Pierre. There is a chance that the betting public will push the uber-popular GSP's odds up and if Alves moves above +300 it would be worth a bet.