For any fighter that is currently aspiring to hit the heights in the sport of MMA, the model to follow is undoubtedly current UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, who has molded himself into the most complete fighter in the sport, while continuously evolving with each and every fight.
Coming off of possibly the biggest win of his career, a fourth round TKO over arch rival B.J. Penn, it was St. Pierre who opted for only a week off before heading right back into the gym to train, which he says he does because he loves it, not because he has to.
The two-time UFC champion traveled to several gyms to prepare for his July 11 showdown against No. 1 contender Thiago Alves, including trips to New York to work with Renzo Gracie's school, and to France where he worked with several world class Muay Thai experts.
Still what has to be described as an almost flawless performance against Penn, it's St. Pierre who readily admits that he is a different fighter from that bout, and he is always changing his game to stay on top of any opponent who dares face him in the cage.
"I'm a different fighter than when I fought B.J. Penn. It's a different fight against a different opponent, and I do have a specific strategy that I will use against him," St. Pierre told MMAWeekly Radio recently about his gameplan for Alves. "And I'm going to use it the night of the fight."
While St. Pierre's strategy is usually locked away deeper than the gold in Fort Knox, he will divulge one of his biggest weapons in every fight, which is his uncanny ability to take away his opponent's biggest strength, and putting them on the defensive as soon as the horn sounds.
"The main thing is to keep your opponent out of their comfort zone," he commented. "The best defense is the offense. Not all of the time, but most of the time."
His opponent in this fight could be the biggest and most dangerous of any fighter St. Pierre has faced in his time with the UFC, but despite Alves' pedigree in the striking game, the Canadian champion will not shy away from trading shots with the American Top Team welterweight.
"I'm not afraid of him standing up, I'm not afraid of him anywhere," said St. Pierre. "I just acknowledge his strength, and I know what he's good at, but I'm not afraid of it. Either standing up, on the ground, anywhere."
Never one for insulting his opponents, St. Pierre says that it doesn't have to be personal for him to want to destroy Thiago Alves, because at the end of the day he is gunning for his title, and that's not something he is willing to hand over to anybody.
"People can talk as much as they want, talking doesn't help. Itís the fighting that's going to do the job in the Octagon," St. Pierre stated. "Thiago Alves is a great fighter, and he doesn't have to talk bad to make himself confident. He's a confident guy by himself, so that's what makes him even more dangerous than B.J. Penn."