UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and his physician Dr. Sébastien Simard held a press conference this afternoon to discuss the ACL tear that has forced the champ to pull out of his booked UFC 143 title fight with Nick Diaz.
Dr. Simard, an orthopedic surgeon who's treated GSP for several years, said that St. Pierre will require a complete reconstruction of his ACL and some repair of his MCL. Dr. Simard claimed that there is a 95% recovery rate for this procedure and that GSP's recovery rate is phenomenal.
"I expect Georges to be fully recovered in six to nine months," said Dr. Simard.
St. Pierre injured the knee in training for his bout with Nick Diaz but this is the right knee, the opposite knee from the one he injured prior to UFC 137 which forced the cancellation of his bout with Carlos Condit at that event. Before UFC 137, GSP sprained his left MCL. This time he has torn his ACL completely on the right side and also injured the meniscus.
GSP said he got an MRI and medical opinions from two surgeons before telling UFC president Dana White.
"Right now I'm in a downfall in my life but in a few months I will be better and I will be champion again," St. Pierre said.
"The symptoms of an ACL tear were not there at all. I felt a little discomfort but I went home and had dinner with a friend and the next day I trained. It was only a few weeks later when I still had instability in my knee that I called Sébastien and he suggested we take a picture of it. I thought ACL tear would leave you rolling on the ground. I never thought it would be this bad. When we saw the picture, Dr. Simard said, 'You know George you can't fight with a knee like this.' If you fought with it it could be the same thing that happened to Patrick Cote against Anderson Silva."
Cote lost his title shot to Anderson Silva at UFC 90 when his knee collapsed in the third round of the bout and he was unable to continue.
"I believe there is only one person to blame and that is myself," said St. Pierre when asked if he began training too soon after his previous knee injury. "This injury is what they call a compensation injury. My other knee was almost 100% healed but I was compensating for it with my right knee when I hurt it."