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Georges St-Pierre says Michael Bisping is ‘terrified of me wrestling him,’ vows a finish

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Georges St-Pierre is starting to see a trend in Michael Bisping’s trash talk.

“GSP” and Bisping have been making the media rounds ahead of their Nov. 4 middleweight championship showdown at UFC 217, with the two veterans sharing the stage for a series of contentious press conferences. And St-Pierre believes there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the barbs Bisping is continually lobbing his way.

“He’s playing always the same song. He’s terrified of me wrestling him. Terrified,” St-Pierre said Monday on The MMA Hour. “In every interview he does, he’s begging me to stand and bang with him. In every interview. ... I mean, if you don’t know the ground (game), you shouldn’t be in MMA. You should be in kickboxing.

“Fighting on the ground is part of the game, and he’s terrified. So he wants me to be like, ‘Oh, okay, I’m going to stand and bang with you.’

“I’m going to use all my tools,” St-Pierre continued. “Not only one tool, but all of them. That’s a mind game that he’s trying to play.”

The rivalry between St-Pierre, 36, and Bisping, 38, is one that has been gradually building since St-Pierre announced his desire to come out of retirement and challenge for Bisping’s middleweight title last year. After several false stops and starts, the matchup was ultimately set for UFC 217, booked to sit atop a stacked show that will go down next month in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Along the way, Bisping has taken every opportunity available to him to attempt to get underneath St-Pierre’s skin, accusing the Canadian legend of steroid use, touching St-Pierre during staredowns, and generally hurling every insult under the sun at the former welterweight champion.

Bisping has also repeatedly claimed that St-Pierre only asked for the fight because St-Pierre sees “The Count” as a middleweight he can easily beat. In doing so, Bisping cited a past training session he and St-Pierre shared years ago in which St-Pierre supposedly out-wrestled the Brit, who self-admittedly “didn’t know a double-leg from a Big Mac.”

When about that training session on Monday, St-Pierre declined to give specifics, citing his personal code to never publicly discuss what happens in the gym.

“I don’t think I got the better of him,” St-Pierre said. “I don’t like when people [talk about training]. When I train with a guy, I’m never going to go out and talk about the training. The training is the training; sometimes you have a good day, sometimes you have a bad day. That’s that.

“I don’t like when guys talk about that, I think it’s a lack of respect,” St-Pierre continued. “Those are rules, you shouldn’t talk about this; what happens in the gym, it happens in the gym.

“I get my ass kicked in the gym all the time. That’s normal. That’s what training is for. The more you sweat in the gym, the less you bleed in the fight.”

That being said, St-Pierre was quick to heap praise upon a surprising new training partner he has enlisted for help ahead of UFC 217: Former opponent Jake Shields, who St-Pierre defeated via five-round decision at UFC 129 in 2011.

“Jake Shields is amazing,” St-Pierre said. “We’ve been training together probably for a bit now, and we can both learn from each other, both grow together training with each other, and it is an honor to be able to train with him. He’s given me a lot, a lot of help, and he’s an amazing fighter. He has incredible tools. The pressure he puts (on people) on the ground is just unbearable. He’s very, very good and very specialized at what he does.”

With just weeks to go before his Octagon return, St-Pierre — a longtime welterweight who is considered the one of greatest champions in UFC history — revealed that he weighed somewhere between 195-200 pounds ahead of middleweight debut. He plans to stay around that weight until fight week, then begin his cut to 185 pounds from there.

And after spending the past four years on the sidelines, with his body now refreshed and his motivation renewed, St-Pierre is vowing to stun the MMA world with his performance at UFC 217.

“I’m much confident in this than I was before,” St-Pierre said. “I trained a lot of [aspects in my game] in the four years. People say you can’t reinvent yourself, but I’m going to prove that you can, and I’m going to prove it to everybody. I’m not the same guy that I was before, the last time. I have a lot more tools … and I’m specialized in different things. I have a lot of new tricks that I’m going to bring to the game.

“I’m going to finish him, that’s what I believe,” St-Pierre vowed. “Either a knockout or submission.”