It looks like there’s been a few personal changes in Team GSP. First up, Georges St. Pierre and his longtime manager Shari Spencer have parted ways.
According to a press release, “They felt they had a different vision for the future of Georges’ career and it was best to remain close personally but dissolve their business relationship.”
“Shari has been very valuable to me and my career over the last several years. We broke through a lot of barriers together and so I will always be grateful to her and call her my friend,” St-Pierre stated.
“I am extremely proud of the representation I provided to Georges and the incredible opportunity to have partnered with an athlete of his caliber. I am thankful for the trust that he displayed in me in managing his career since mid 2007 and I wish him the best going forward,” she stated.
Spencer has widely been considered as one of the best managers in the business due in large part to the mainstream sponsorship deals she landed for GSP with Gatorade and Under Armour, so the news comes as a bit of a surprise. Spencer will continue to manage UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar while St. Pierre will remain with the Creative Arts Agency where it’s believed his new manager will emerge from.
Spencer may be the latest change in St. Pierre’s camp, but she’s not the only one. GSP also split with strength and conditioning coach John Chaimberg before his UFC 124 fight against Josh Koscheck. Cage Potato is hearing the two didn’t see eye-to-eye on training philosophies. More specifically, GSP’s desire to work with different coaches and trainers wasn’t jiving with the highly structured training regimen Chaimberg had crafted. Furthermore, St. Pierre began working with Eric Owings, a performance coach based in New York, and recently released a workout DVD series with him.
That’s not all. Cage Potato is also hearing that his jiu-jitsu coach John Danaher has become a major influence in his life and training practices.
One explanation for Georges’ dramatic changes in training and personnel is the influence of jiu-jitsu coach John Danaher on not only his game plans for fights, and his training choices, but also on his life in general. The highly-regarded Renzo Gracie black belt instructor is a philosophy major who fancies himself somewhat of a pseudo life coach to the athletes he trains. It’s said that St-Pierre has accepted him as a guru and that the New Zealander has his ear on everything from what methods of training are best and whom he should train with (Owings is a student of Danaher’s) to which techniques to employ in his fights.
One source close to St-Pierre said that there is a growing concern that he is valuing Danaher’s typically jiu-jitsu-heavy game plans over coach Greg Jackson’s, whom many consider to be the top of the heap in that area.
It’s impossible to tell at this point whether all these changes are in GSP’s best interests or not. Sure, there’s something to be said about stability, especially in a time of success, but who’s to say these changes won’t take St. Pierre to an even higher level in and out of the cage. Clearly, GSP thinks they will or he wouldn’t have made them.