Georges St-Pierre was a highly accomplished UFC welterweight champion and also the UFC middleweight champion. In a sizeable number of his fights, especially during his second welterweight title reign, Georges St-Pierre utilized his ever-improving wrestling techniques to secure title defense after title defense.
Khabib Nurmagomedov put together a flawless mixed martial arts record of 29 wins with zero defeats and was a multi-time defending UFC lightweight world champion. He did this with a wrestling-centric gameplan and had a great sense of closing the distance on opponents.
Chael Sonnen says that Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov shared common characteristics that led to their dominance in the sport of MMA.
On a recent episode of Beyond The Fight, Sonnen discussed a recent interaction between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira in the lead up to the latter’s vacant lightweight world title fight against the former’s protege Islam Makhachev at UFC 280 in October.
Through this discourse, when espousing the benefits of training for wrestling from a young age, Sonnen said:
“It’s been the great equalizer since the sport began. The in-between, that’s the hard stuff. It’s the hardest to learn. Cardio effort and energy-wise, it is the hardest to do. There is nothing more difficult in a fight than getting a takedown. Nothing you will do. You go for a takedown and you don’t get it, you’re changed.”
“You’re now stuck on your feet where you didn’t want to be which is why you went for the takedown. Now you have less energy. It’s one of those things. It’s so tiring, so grueling, and so hard to do, many guys overlook it including greats. Wrestling is a very hard thing to learn, guys.”
Watch the video below: