At Saturday’s UFC 158 in Montreal, some people said that Georges St-Pierre looked a little tired for the first time in memory. Perhaps there was a good reason for that.
According to TVA Sports, the UFC welterweight champion fought Nick Diaz while nursing an Achilles tendon injury and a fever. The news outlet, which is the official French broadcaster of UFC preliminary fights in Quebec, reported that St-Pierre’s team knew about the injury but felt it wasn’t severe enough to force them to cancel the fight.
“Thankfully, there was no tear,” St-Pierre’s trainer Firas Zahabi told TVA Sports. “Having said that, it was very strained and very painful, but not enough to cancel the bout. We wanted to keep it secret because Diaz is a specialist in ankle submissions.”
Indeed, there had been no hint of any physical concerns for the champ leading into or immediately after the bout, which GSP by unanimous decision (50-45 on all judges’ scorecards). However, his corner was a bit worried heading into the long-awaited grudge match with Diaz that they would regret going ahead with it in his condition.
"Our concern was that the tendon would tear during the fight. Right now, we don’t know if he aggravated the injury, but to be certain, he will have to follow his treatments over the coming weeks in order for his tendon to heal adequately."
In addition to the injury, which likely limited his mobility, or at least his attacking options, St-Pierre was also feverish during the fight.
"It’s certain that these two elements had an effect on his performance," Zahabi added. "He found it extremely difficult."
"He is physically and mentally exhausted," added Zahabi, who believes his fighter will need at least six months' rest before returning to the Octagon.
Earlier this week, new No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks said he’d like to fight St-Pierre in late August; however, given the revelation from the champion’s camp, a fall date seems more likely.