On Thursday, Georges St-Pierre, one of the greatest to ever step foot inside the UFC Octagon, made his retirement announcement at a press conference held in the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Without tears and full of happiness in his decision, Georges St-Pierre, also know as ‘GSP’ and ‘Rush,’ walks away from mixed martial arts holding a professional record of 26-2, having also avenged both his losses to Matt Hughes and Matt Serra.
Though he is now retired, Georges St-Pierre was interested in returning to the octagon, challenging the current lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Georges says it’s something both him and the titleholder were interested in, however, the promotion had other plans. The lightweight division is stacked, and with Khabib on the sidelines for nine months stemming from his brawl with Conor McGregor and his team at UFC 229, the UFC has made an interim title bout between current featherweight champion, Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier. ‘The Diamond’ Poirier welcomed Holloway to the promotion at UFC 143 back in 2012. The two will rematch, only this time with interim gold on the line.
‘GSP’ isn’t interested in a long run with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but rather one big, challenging fight at a time. Being undefeated, and having accomplished what he’s been able to do over his career in MMA, Khabib was that physical and mental challenge the former two-division champion was looking for. If it wasn’t that, the fan-favorite would be, which has been begged for since both were at the top of combat sports, is the Anderson Silva fight. At the height of their careers, Georges and Anderson would have been the super of all super-fights, however, an agreement was never reached, and to this day many argue who the true GOAT is. Now, we’ll never know.
Cageside Press staff got together to discuss their favorite Georges St-Pierre moments inside the octagon. Here’s what everyone had to say…
Rodney James Edgar: My all-time favorite GSP moment is when he finally got a hold of Nick Diaz and beat the brakes off of him for five rounds. Diaz had previously no-call/no-showed a press conference, for which he was removed from their originally scheduled title fight. Diaz later accused ‘GSP’ of ducking HIM, which was ludicrous, to say the least, but… St-Pierre willingly confronted Nick Diaz and made easy work of him.
Dan Doherty:‘GSP’ had an incredible career and I was lucky enough to become a fan two defenses into his last title reign. That being said, of all his great moments, I’d say coming back and beating Michael Bisping was the most magical. The uncertainty of how he would look at 185 combined with a four-year hiatus was beyond concerning heading into the bout. Then, he goes out there and gives a performance that gets us to remember the old GSP one last time. A perfect way to retire.
Gabriel Gonzalez: My all-time favorite GSP moment was UFC 100. Thiago Alves was destroying opponents leading up to the fight and forced St-Pierre to be on point for all 25 minutes to shut him down. GSP had plenty of big wins leading up to that, but to me that was the turning point where he really started getting to the conversation of being the GOAT.
Drake Riggs: The easy one is obviously the comeback vs. Bisping which I think truly was an amazing moment and a further cementing of his GOAT status. Definitely a favorite of mine. However, I’ll go with UFC 94, the BJ Penn rematch. It was the first true superfight in MMA history. The second meeting of two of the very best ever and a silencing of any doubt that could have been left over from the first bout. Not only that, coincidentally enough, it was the first MMA fight I ever saw. So that kind of HAS to be my favorite GSP moment, right…? Not a bad one, regardless.
Heath Harshman: I’ve drifted to and from MMA throughout the last 10 years. While GSP has done the same, his aura of greatness has consistently remained ingrained in the sport. The moment that encapsulates that fact better than most is his victory over Michael Bisping at UFC 217. Doing so for the UFC middleweight title, in the main event, at Madison Square Garden, was icing on the cake. Coming back from nearly four years off to win a title in a division he’d never competed in says everything you need to know about GSP.
Jay Anderson: It’s incredibly hard to single out a favorite GSP moment. As a Canadian, I’m bound by law to be a fan of him, else the government takes my cheese curds away. That having been said, I wound up hesitating on a choice between GSP vs. Shields at the Skydome (hear that, Rogers? It’s still the Skydome) and GSP vs. Koscheck at UFC 124. People forget that, until the UFC rolled into the Dome with GSP, stadium shows were unheard of in the UFC. Yet here was this mild-mannered Canadian, setting what was the UFC attendance record for years to come. And having said that, I have to go with GSP vs. Kos 2. Koscheck had been his typical pest self during The Ultimate Fighter, getting under St-Pierre’s skin, even while the champ brushed it off. In the Octagon in Montreal though, GSP proceeded to jab Koscheck’s eye socket for just about the full twenty-five minutes. At least it felt that way. Two things happened after that night: Koscheck couldn’t get on a plane, and he was never the same fighter again.
Adam LeBarr: I must start by agreeing with Jay Anderson, the stadium that holds 55,000+ in Toronto, Canada, is the Skydome. I can never accept the Rogers Centre. Moving along… my favorite moment of Georges St-Pierre’s career, as a Canadian and being from Toronto, is not so much his fight with Jake Shields at UFC 129, but rather bringing the sport to such a massive stadium, the first time combat sports had seen such an enormous live audience. Naturally, I’ve been a fan of ‘GSP’ since his debut fight in the UFC, of which I rented from my local Blockbuster back in 2004. Prior to UFC 129 in 2011, mixed martial arts was still not legalized in Ontario. Once legal, St-Pierre not only brought record-breaking numbers to the city of Toronto, but was also victorious over Shields, who was the Strikeforce middleweight champion prior to the purchase of the organization. His legendary status would only grow as his career in mixed martial arts continued, and it’s been an absolute honor watching him compete. Thank you, Georges.
Thank you, and congratulations to Georges St-Pierre on a truly amazing career, and for retiring on top. What’s your favorite ‘GSP’ moment? Let us know in the comments.