Georges St-Pierre has called it a career. The former two-division champion announced today that he will be retiring from MMA, leaving behind a tremendous legacy.
The GSP era is over. As expected, UFC legend and former welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St. Pierre announced his retirement Thursday at a press conference in Montreal, Canada. Ending his career with a record of 26–2, with no unavenged losses and titles in two weight classes, GSP will forever be known as the best welterweight of his era, and to date, all time. Not to mention being one of the all-time greats.
While ‘Rush’ had been hoping for a fight with lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov before all was said and done, it simply didn’t work out. GSP also later added that Khabib is the best fighter in the world currently in his opinion.
“The fight, my agent was talking to the UFC, trying to organize a fight with Khabib. I know Khabib wants it, and I want it, but the UFC had other plans. So the point where I am in my career, for me, it’s more at this time, taking one fight at a time instead of being there for several fights.”
At the end of the day though, the prospect of big fights can only do so much for someone who has accomplished it all like GSP.
“I don’t have the same motivation as I used to, I’m not the same person I used to be back in the day. Just my state of mind. It used to be winter, I was poor, I didn’t have much money, I used to run in the snow. I’d put a plastic back on my feet, and run in the snow, do my sprint and scream WARRRR, like Marvin Hagler. It was crazy. I used to want to go in there and beat everybody, I didn’t care who and when, I wanted to destroy everybody, to go on top.”
While his motivation might not be in the right place, GSP proved at UFC 217 that he is still an incredible fighter with his improbable victory over then-champion Michael Bisping following a four-year hiatus.
“I don’t have the same hunger anymore. Even though physically I feel at the top of my game, the hunger is not the same. I would go fight one at a time, but it’s a little bit selfish on my part. It’s a business, that’s this business of mixed martial arts, it’s about what’s next. Not what was, and what is happening now, it’s about always what’s next.”
Too many times, we’ve seen fighters stick around too long (Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva being primary examples. GSP, on the other hand, will be retiring at the top of his game in the midst of a 13-fight win streak that dates back to 2007.
“The last person to know when it’s time to retire is the fighter himself,” St. Pierre said later in the press conference. “In life, I don’t always know what I want,” he continued. “But I know damn well what I don’t want, and what I don’t want is to retire too late.”
In the accomplished career of the Canadian superstar, there have been many great moments. The one he looks back on most fondly may be surprising to some.
“The moment I’m the most proud of in my career, in the fight game, is when I got dropped by the head kick by Carlos Condit, and I fall down and I was able to stand up. It sounds weird, people would think it would be about a victory or a knockout, for me, it’s when I got dropped by a head kick and I survived. It shows that I had the guts to come back from an obstacle, I was able to overcome it.”
One last thing GSP was able to overcome was the urge to keep fighting. This saves fans from the tragic downfalls of many legends ending up on the receiving end of a string of knockouts to end their career.
Noting the importance of being a role model, GSP cited hockey legend and fellow Canadian Wayne Gretzky as a role model of his own.