Georges St. Pierre is now 25-2 overall, 20-2 inside the famed UFC Octagon. He has helped make his opponents money, Zuffa money and lets not forget that he isn’t struggling in the financial department himself. His career was thought to have been defined then redefined all over again but now we see the UFC Welterweight Champion at another impasse, that moment in time when the most difficult questions of St. Pierre’s career must and will be answered.
GSP has never shied away from competition, having only fought the best since his pre Zuffa days and only to find his road from Montreal, Quebec, Canada to a UFC Championship only that much tougher. From his wars with Matt Hughes and BJ Penn to his newest challenges which have included the likes of Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz, Jake Shields and most recently; Johny Hendricks, St. Pierre has carried with him the weight of not thinking he was the best but continuously trying to get to that point.
There has been mentions of “Going to a dark place” and being very “Cutoff from the world” GSP has never seemed to have time to do anything for himself. Seemingly forgoing personal relationships for business relationships, being the ULTIMATE COMPANY MAN any company has ever seen. We have never seen St. Pierre with a real bad word for opponents, he adores his fans heck he adores the UFC, and rightfully so. But to keep pace with the “Karate” lifestyle you need a little yin with your yang and if not things get out of balance, out of whack, things become lopsided in one way or the other and this is that turning point Georges St. Pierre the man not the fighter, needs to make some heavy decisions.
In the Main event (once again) St. Pierre was set to defend his title as he had done 8 previous times before against a very dangerous puncher in Johny Hendricks. Before the fight St. Pierre had again had some strange admissions before the fight, speaking of an obsession to defeat Hendricks, trouble sleeping, anxieties. Again, St. Pierre has not shown any mental breakage inside the Octagon but folks we are all human and have our breaking points when we sacrifice so much for everyone else but ourselves, especially in the way that he has sacrificed his mind, body ad soul for the sake of MMA as well as his employers, ZUFFA/UFC.
I won’t get into whos, whats, whys and hows because the fight ended with St. Pierre’s hand raised and the strap wrapped around his waist yet again, so that’s that in my mind. The stuff that happened afterwards however was some of the most unsettling words ever to be echoed in a LIVE interview.
St. Pierre practically declared retirement, stating that “personal issues” are the cause, (Joe) Rogan asked him several times if this was the end, if he was retiring and although an answer set in stone was not given it was quite apparent that this man has had enough and wants out, even if just “for a little bit”.
It is evident (especially on his face) that his last three fights have been the toughest of his career and fights that he has taken some of the worst damage of in his career. He repeated (probably due to concussion) that he was hit a lot ad lost memory of earlier moments in the fight against Hendricks ~ just to keep you up to date, losing memory is never a good thing. He has taken on every challenger the UFC has thrown his way, he is now the winningest UFC Champion ever and by far the classiest.
After the fight and his strange bow-out inside the Octagon there were reports from several sources that the Fertitta’s and Dana White had gone to the locker room of St. Pierre, to congratulate, to check up on and to order an immediate rematch and an explanation for his strange interview …. WHAT??
Georges St. Pierre was not being told how great of a Champion he has been for their company, he wasn’t being told how brave he was to continue in his most current fight under such overwhelminly physical odds, he was being told that retirement is not an option. The most winningest Welterweight Champion the UFC has ever produced was being scolded like a child, punished for wanting time to his self and his friends and his family. Georges St. Pierre was being treated like a dog who had gotten off the leash and forced back into the kennel.
I have never been a Dana White “fan”, he is a great fight minded man, business manager and so on without a doubt, but after his actions that night, Humanitarian can be taken off his resume. Many people were up in arms over the fight itself and it’s outcome but the ones who were upset over the actions of the UFC management in the wake of their Champions decision to take some time off were ones correct in their thought process. St. Pierre is a human being who has never thought of himself, always put company first whether it was a photo shoot or an interview or a fight. St. Pierre is a class human being who works for dog fighters who get paid for his blood, please lets not forget that this is not a business … yes, yes rules are in place for safety, measures are taken in order to keep chaos from spilling out but these men and women for the most part are fighting LITERALLY for their jobs unlike the rest of us who simply go in and punch a time card.
I know, GSP isn’t in the “poor class” of Mixed Martial Artists, he is most certainly an upper class kind of athlete but he still deserves his time away in the same regards to enjoy his rewards from his life’s hard works. He deserves the proper recognition for his accomplishments and for everything that HE, HIMSELF has brought to the UFC.
In my view if a man wants to walk away from anything, they will and more importantly they can. They may leave in the wake of their decision hurt feelings, angriness or bitterness but they can and are allowed to walk away whenever they feel (Contracts are for lawyers to figure out and deal with) We are free men and women from within a free world, some decisions, repercussions will last longer than others but in this case a man’s sanity (claims of alien abductions and sleepless nights) are on the line. You could see the emotions on his face were real, St. Pierre was almost embarrassed to even mention them, he tried to walk away, quietly, like the great man he is … I hope he does. I greatly hope Georges St. Pierre leaves “RUSH” behind, leaves “GSP” behind even if only for the “Little While” he spoke so candidly about, and gets back to humanity, gets back to his real roots, gets back to where home really is.
Good Luck Georges St. Pierre, Born in Saint-Isidore, Montérégie, Quebec, Canada, born again inside an arena in front of thousands. Don’t let that same arena become your grave.
[Article written by Jesse Thomas, owner and Host of That Other Sports Show, follow Jesse on Twitter via @JTT81]