Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre became the UFC’s middleweight champion Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, ending a four-year layoff to defeat then-titleholder Michael Bisping.
It was the first time St-Pierre competed at 185 pounds, long authoring dominance as the greatest 170-pound fighter to ever live. But now that St-Pierre has grabbed hold of the title at middleweight, the champion’s boxing coach, Freddie Roach, believes it’s time to head back to his native class.
“I think I would like to go to the lower weight division, back to the weight that he’s more comfortable with and more used to,” Roach said on “The MMA Hour” this week (h/t MMA Fighting). “But the thing is, that might not be available at this point. We do need to work that out with the promoter.”
While St-Pierre beat Bisping with a third-round submission to become just the fourth fighter in UFC history to win championships in multiple divisions, he’s widely considered to be an undersized competitor at 185 pounds. That could become an issue as he begins to face the top contenders in the class, many of whom are regarded to be more talented than Bisping was as champion.
Another concern, as Roach sees it, was St-Pierre’s cardio. Never having had much trouble going the 25-minute distance as a welterweight, St-Pierre appeared to tire after just a few minutes into Round 2 in his middleweight debut.
“I think it was the weight that got to him a little bit,” Roach said. “He’s not used to carrying that much weight. I think it did kick in a little bit quicker than usual. Again, we’ll work everything out and all get together and discuss what’s the best move next for Georges.”
Despite Roach’s advice, St-Pierre has previously committed to defending the middleweight title.