Trash talk didn't faze St. Pierre

Georges St. Pierre (right) lands a right on Josh Koscheck during UFC 124 in Montreal on Saturday....

Georges St. Pierre (right) lands a right on Josh Koscheck during UFC 124 in Montreal on Saturday. (QMI Agency/Eric Bolte)

NEIL SPRINGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:38 AM ET

MONTREAL -- If UFC 124 had a moral, it would be that trash talking gets you nowhere once the cage door shuts.

Both welterweight title challenger Josh (Kos) Koscheck and co-main event fighter Sean (Big Sexy) McCorkle let the insults fly in the weeks leading up to Saturday night's card at the Bell Centre, but both went home with bruised egos and losses on their respective records.

Koscheck (15-5) did everything in his power to get under the skin of Georges (Rush) St. Pierre, calling the welterweight champion a shadow of his former self ever since losing to Matt (The Terror) Serra at UFC 69 almost four years ago.

St. Pierre (21-2) admitted the mudslinging annoyed him, but once the bell rang he remained composed and fought with surgical precision.

"I did not fight emotionally," St. Pierre said at the post-fight press conference. "I had a game plan and I stuck to it. Josh Koscheck throws his punches circular (hooks) and I knew to beat him I needed to stay on the outside, behind my jab. If I stayed in the pocket with him and started throwing circular punches, it would have been like taking a coin and flipping it to see who lands first.

"My game plans don't rely on chance. That's why I tried to stay on the outside with my jab."

That jab played a pivotal role early on. After landing the punch repeatedly in the first round, Koscheck's right eye began to swell shut. St. Pierre kept attacking the spot and went on to dominate every round en route to winning a unanimous decision.

Despite an impressive performance, St. Pierre said he was disappointed he couldn't put Koscheck away.

"I wanted to finish with a knockout or submission," St. Pierre said. "He's very tough. I closed his right eye, so I was going at it with the hook and high left kick. I wanted to knock him out standing up, but he's very tough. My punches didn't land on his chin as much as I wanted them to.

"It was a good fight, very entertaining, but I wanted to finish him. That was my goal and I didn't reach my goal."

UFC president Dana White praised both St. Pierre's win and Koscheck's heart.

"I could be wrong, but in all the fights I've seen in mixed martial arts over the last 10 years, I can't think of one where a guy closes a guy's eye with a jab," White said. "I thought he fought a beautiful fight against a guy I have a lot of respect for.

"All the criticism Josh Koscheck gets –- he's a cheater, he didn't get poked in the eye, whatever -– let me tell you what, the doctor went up to him and asked him, 'Can you see? Do you want to fight?' He stayed in that fight and continued to fight. He tried to mix it up as best he could with one eye."

Following the bout, both fighters embraced in the octagon and buried the hatchet. St. Pierre said Koscheck apologized for all the smack talk, admitting he was just trying to hype the fight.

"He said to me, 'I apologize. I said a lot of things to build up the fight,'" St. Pierre said. "I need Josh Koscheck to do what I do for a living. If Josh Koshceck had not been there tonight, I would have not made money and you guys wouldn't have had a good night of entertainment.

"We need good guys, we need bad guys. It's nothing personal. At the end of the day it's business."

Since St. Pierre appeared to be in good shape following the five-round tilt, the timing could work out for him to fight at UFC 131 in Toronto on Apr. 30, 2011.

"I would love that," St. Pierre said. "It's up to the boss. If the boss wants it, I'm in.

"I think I'm healthy. I talked to the doctor and I only have some small bruises. So far with the adrenaline I feel good, so we'll see in a few minutes."

Rumours and speculation have run rampant that St. Pierre could face middleweight champion Anderson (The Spider) Silva in Toronto. However, two things stand in the way of that happening.

Firstly, Silva (27-4) has a title defence scheduled against Vitor (The Phenom) Belfort at UFC 126 in February. Even if Silva wins and is injury-free, he likely won't have enough time to put a training camp together for St. Pierre. Secondly, St. Pierre says he wouldn't go to the 185-pound division for just one fight.

"If I go up in weight class, I have to put more muscle on my body," St. Pierre said. "Otherwise I'm going to be too small. If I put muscle on my body and go up to 185, I'm going to have to stay at 185. I don't want to go up and down (in weight). When you go up and down -- you see what happened to Roy Jones Jr. -- you lose the reaction time.

"Right now, I'm about 189-190 (prior to cutting to welterweight). If I go up in weight I should be around at least 200 pounds. I train with a lot 185ers and they all weigh 210-215. I would have to get bigger."

STRUVE STOPS MCCORKLE

It was a sweet victory for Stefan (Skyscraper) Struve in the co-main event of UFC 124, though you wouldn't have known it by looking at him at the post-fight press conference.

The six-foot-eleven heavyweight had to endure an endless barrage of insults from McCorkle (10-1) prior to their fight. Even though he managed to put his opponent away with strikes in the first round, Struve (21-4) appeared almost depressed afterwards.

Struve downplayed his demeanour and said he was happy with the win.

"It's good to keep my face intact for once," Struve said. "My last three or four were wars. It was nice to win easy by knockout."

Early in the first round, McCorkle slammed Struve and worked for a kimura shoulderlock. Struve placed his own back against the cage to defend against it. Struve then kicked off the wall to break McCorkle's grip. A kimura sweep later, Struve had the full-mount and was raining punches and elbows to secure the TKO victory.

Struve said he didn't feel threatened by McCorkle's submission attempt.

"I wasn't concerned, no," Struve said. "I just stayed calm and relaxed. He had to break my arm because I wasn't going to tap."

FIGHT NIGHT BONUSES

In a UFC first, White said he let the fans choose Fight of the Night honours. To nobody's surprise, the main event won hands down, netting both St. Pierre and Koscheck an additional $100,000.

White admitted the wild undercard brawl between Matthew Riddle and Toronto's Sean Pierson was more deserving.

"I agree, the prelim fight was the fight of the night in my book," White said. "(The main event) was a great fight, but I agree (Pierson and Riddle) was fight of the night and I will take care of those guys."

Mac Danzig won Knockout of the Night and also took home an extra $100,000 for his beautiful left-hook knockout of Joe (Daddy) Stevenson.

Submission of the Night was awarded to both Mark Bocek's triangle choke on Dustin (McLovin') Hazelett and Jim Miller's kneebar on Charles (do Bronx) Oliveira. As a result, the fighters split the purse and each took home an additional $50,000.

UFC 124 RESULTS

Georges St. Pierre def. Josh Koscheck via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)

Stefan Struve def. Sean McCorkle via first-round TKO (strikes)

Jim Miller def. Charles Oliveira via first-round submission (kneebar)

Mac Danzig def. Joe Stevenson first-round knockout (punch)

Thiago Alves def. John Howard via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Dan Miller def. Joe Doerksen via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Mark Bocek def. Dustin Hazelett via first-round submission (triangle choke)

Jesse Bongfeldt and Rafael Natal went to a majority draw (28-28, 28-28, 28-29)

Sean Pierson def. Matthew Riddle via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Ricardo Almeida def. T.J. Grant via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

John Makdessi def. Pat Audinwood via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)


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