Having faced fighters like Matt Serra, B.J. Penn, Josh Koscheck and Nick Diaz, former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre is relatively familiar with the mind games that go on before and during a fight.
Anybody with a pair of eyes and ears — including St-Pierre — can see what Conor McGregor is trying to do in the lead-up to the Irishman’s featherweight clash with Jose Aldo. It’s the same sort of mind games St-Pierre saw Chael Sonnen employ in both of his title bouts with Anderson Silva, GSP told Sonnen while on his podcast.
“I don’t know if I’m right, but it seems like maybe McGregor got into Aldo’s head a little bit,” St-Pierre said. “I don’t know [if McGregor can beat Aldo]. I guess we’ll find out. Aldo is a very smart guy, but Conor McGregor, the way he talks trash, there is a purpose to it.”
Undefeated in his last 18 professional bouts, only fighters like Chad Mendes and Frankie Edgar can say they’ve taken it to Aldo and his reign as the WEC and UFC featherweight titleholder. The rest of them haven’t come close, and that’s a big problem for future challengers, says St-Pierre.
“Most of the guys who have fought Jose Aldo, they’ve been intimidated,” the former champion said. “Aldo has an aura of invincibility. A little bit like Anderson Silva had back in the day before [Sonnen] fought him. I think [McGregor] is mentally trying to break that aura of invincibility, but we’ll see. You need to break it physically, not mentally. It’s going to be a very interesting fight. A very nice clash of styles.”
Aldo and McGregor face off at UFC 194 on Dec. 12 to unify Aldo’s featherweight and McGregor’s interim featherweight titles.