Originally Posted by Javy Pornstache
While I still think that the pure time of the training camp matters, there is a HUGE difference in the Olympic-style training camp with all the specialists that St. Pierre is taking part in, versus Matt Hughes throwing down some mats on a basketball court while waiting for his gym to be completed (as earlier discussed in this thread). He's not even training with the Militech crew for this without his gym being open. It could work against Georges, too - Hughes could just be winding down his training (the most intense training is generally over a couple weeks before the fight) while St. Pierre has taken a crash course Olympic style camp to get ready for this.
The progression of the sport has been amazing. St. Pierre, essentially, has mobilized Canada for his training. The rapid advancement has caught some gyms by surprise. Miletich and Team Quest were state of the art not too long ago and now they're really struggling. Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture, to their credit, have stayed ahead of the curve.
Expect top level boxing instruction to become the next big thing in training. If you're going to collect black belts and get Olympic-level wrestling training, then you'd probably be wise to spend some time learning from Buddy McGirt too, just to keep your bases covered.
It's creating a real interesting landscape. The post-TUF 1 explosion has left the Pride stable in the dirt. Maybe those guys were better five years ago, but they've been lapped since then. Everyone's more mobile, striking has become faster and more direct, transitions come from nowhere (just ask Jared Rollins), the quality of defense has taken quantum leaps (Chuck Liddell made it to the top thanks to his sprawl as much as his striking).
The progression has blown apart the UFC's attempts at establishing the Hughes/Franklin/Liddell/Arlovski pantheon. The sport's accelerated past those guys for the most part. Silva, GSP and possibly B.J. Penn look like the new pantheon and don't be surprised if by 2009 or 2010 that they've been eclipsed by a new wave. I think Forrest vs. Rampage is going to be an eye-opener for a lot of folks. Everyone's thinking Rampage is going over in that one, but who has he beaten? He took out Liddell, who's on the downside, and then he beat Pride's Dan Henderson. Meanwhile Griffin's about as well-rounded a fighter as you can find and he beat the absolute best Pride had to offer in Shogun Rua (who, not coincidentally, once stomped Rampage). Just a guess, but Griffin, Evans, Machida and Jardine might the real class of the light heavyweight division. IMO, the jury's still out on whether Jackson can hang with post-revolution fighters. We may learn a lot from Silva vs. Henderson. If Silva puts Henderson to sleep, something Rampage couldn't do, then look for Forrest to pick apart the champ.
MMA's had a Jack Johnson moment, where the overall skill level has vaulted forward. The entire way people fight has changed. I suggest Fedor Emelianenko keep his reputation sterling by steering far clear of the UFC. The heavyweight division has been the slowest to react to the changes in the sport, but it might only take a year to catch up.