Las Vegas, NV — The man who is arguably the greatest fighter of all time is officially a member of the UFC Hall of Fame.
Georges St-Pierre was inducted into the Hall on Thursday, the ceremony part of this year’s International Fight Week. The Canadian known as “Rush” helped the sport explode in his native Canada and around the world, at a time when MMA was slowly being accepted in more and more territories.
GSP was the class act that proponents of mixed martial arts could point to as a shining example of a true martial artist. He just so happened to be dominant in the cage as well, beating countless fighters in their prime, often at their own game. Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, Jon Fitch, Dan Hardy, Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz — many tried to get the better of St-Pierre. Only two men defeated him; he would go on to get his revenge on both, finishing his career with no unavenged losses, and titles in two weight classes.
Despite talk of a super-fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov that arose shortly before both men retired, and rumors of a boxing match, St-Pierre confirmed Thursday that his career was over. “My days as a mixed martial arts fighter, to prove I’m the best fighter in the world, are gone, because I believe my best years are behind me. And health is the most important thing for me,” St-Pierre stated. “Now I can retire, and I’m very healthy. It’s not something all fighters can brag about, so I’m very happy with how things ended up.”
When it comes to the moment he will cherish most, St-Pierre told Cageside Press that they all have a special place in his memory, but singled out one in particular. “My second fight against Matt Serra in Montreal is my best memory, because I was coming back from a loss, so I had to overcome a lot of obstacles. And I was fighting at home, where the sport at the time didn’t have a good reputation. So everything changed in one night. It makes me very proud, very happy.”
As for the welterweight legend’s toughest opponent, GSP had a hard time narrowing it down to just one. “The fight that I got the most messed up was probably Carolos Condit, or BJ Penn [in their first fight],” said St-Pierre. “The most skilled fighter I’ve fought I believe was BJ Penn, he was in his prime. The fight that I had to go through a lot of obstacles in terms of preparation and training camp was Johny Hendricks.”
St-Pierre finished his fighting career in 2017, after returning from a five-year, self-imposed hiatus to submit Michael Bisping for the UFC’s middleweight title. He would later vacate the belt, citing health issues, ending his MMA run with a record of 26-2. St-Pierre’s induction into the Hall of Fame on Thursday was in the hall’s Modern Wing, alongside Penn and Bisping, who were previously inducted, and fighters like Ronda Rousey and Urijah Faber.