BJ's move up/ conditioning
I have been writing for the past several months about how I have been following his conditioning/ increased weight for this fight on this forum. My biggest concern was that he seemed sort of out of shape for the move up, but that seemed odd especially because he had put so much time, effort and money into this fight. He even has a dvd out which highlights his training. In the end, was Bj's conditioning a factor in the fight? I can't say for sure, but i think the way he put in the weight actually was a disadvantage for him.
It was evident that BJ paid special attention to mitigating the wrestling advantage that GSP had in his training. As he stated in Early November, he hand picked a wrestling coach, along with his other coaches that was with him following his workouts and especially his takedown defense. From BJ's physique, it seemed like he put weight on like a wrestler would. I have never seen him with bigger shoulders, back and triceps in all his fights. One of the things about putting on weight like a wrestler is, it slows down your hand speed as your shoulders are a lot more tighter. As the fight showed, BJ quickness was not only mitigated by GSP's strategy(clinch work early) but by his extra mass in his upper body. My opinion, and my opinion alone.......I think if he showed up in the same shape as in the Sherk fight, much lighter maybe 160. I think he could use more footwork, which I didn't see any at all to jab and go, and even allude his takedowns with his speed. Also, I think he could have landed a lot more punches with the less weight on his frame. Many will argue that he would have been at a bigger weight disadvantage, I don't disagree, but I think he should have used quickness to avoid any clinch work/grappling. Being a big GSP and BJ fan, I am extremely dissapointed in BJ's showing. I am not taking anything away from Georges, but I don't think BJ had the right game plan and maybe the right people around him to prepare for this fight.
Since the fight, GSP has continiously talking about about how his strategy was to reduce the hand speed by forcing BJ to use his shoulders to push him off. I think that strategy/execution may have been at Randy Couture's level.