Georges St-Pierre admits there was some conflict within his team regarding whether it was wise to make his return from a four-year layoff to challenge Michael Bisping for the middleweight title at UFC 217. As we now know, though, his decision paid off.
St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC), a former longtime welterweight champ, moved up a weight class to challenge then-champ Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) for the 185-pound title earlier this month at UFC 217 in New York. “Rush” emerged with the gold via third-round submission, proving wrong his naysayers, some of whom came from his own camp.
St-Pierre’s longtime training partner Rory MacDonald said he would have advised a different comeback plan. The French-Canadian’s longtime mentor Kristof Midoux publicly criticized his preparedness for the bout, and even grappling coach John Danaher admitted to having some doubts along the way.
Despite all that, St-Pierre claimed the belt from Bisping with a solid performance, which made him just the fourth fighter in UFC history to win belts in two weight classes. That historic moment is what St-Pierre was pursuing for his comeback, and he said he relishes his accomplishment even more after what he was forced to overcome.
“What I’ve done, it’s never going to be taken away from me,” St-Pierre told MMAjunkie at a media appearance following UFC 217. “It’s something I will keep for the rest of my life. Maybe one day I will go through some negative thing in my life. I will be able to think back about that moment, and it will make me smile. That’s what it is what people don’t understand. I do this to live a moment. (UFC 217), I lived a moment.
“I feel very privileged to live that moment. It was a big risk, but bigger the risk, bigger the reward. Even though a lot of people in my entourage told me it was a bad idea, I always trusted my myself and I always believed I was able to do it, and I did it and I’m very proud.”
In the wake of his legendary win, which took place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden and aired on pay-per-view, St-Pierre said he was going on vacation before resuming business and deciding what’s next. He’s contractually obligated to meet interim middleweight champ Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) in a title-unification bout, but he also knows that could change at any time, so he left the door open for a return to welterweight.
St-Pierre also hinted that there’s no guarantee he actually fights again. At 36, he has only so many prime years left, and one of his biggest fears is to stick around the octagon beyond his expiration date.
For St-Pierre, the way he ends his career is just as important to his legacy as everything else he does along the way. He said that’s something he keeps in mind as he plots out his next move.
“The goal in this game is to retire on top, to not leave too late like a lot of guys like Muhammad Ali,” St-Pierre said. “They made the mistake of believing they were on top, but when you start to get a little bit greedy thinking that you’re special – we’re all human beings, and nobody is invisible. There’s no such thing as being the strongest man. When I was young, I wanted to do MMA because I wanted to be the strongest man. There’s no such thing. I realize now. Everybody can beat everybody on any given day.”view original article >>
Marion Reneau believes beating Sara McMann at UFC on FOX 28 was essential in order to prove something to herself and everyone else. read news >>
If John Crouch’s voice was a little rough Sunday morning, it’s because he used his voice a lot trying to get his point across – with varied luck. read news >>
While it was a rematch that few fans were demanding, Jan Blachowicz earned a win over Jimi Manuwa in a thriller that may demand a trilogy. read news >>
Check out highlights from Dan Henry's quick submission finish of Hakeem Dawodu at UFC Fight Night 127 on Saturday in London. read news >>
Jan Blachowicz evened the score with Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 127 on Saturday in London. read news >>
See the top Twitter reactions to Alexander Volkov’s knockout of Fabricio Werdum in the UFC Fight Night 127 main event. read news >>
Check out highlights from Jan Blachowicz's unanimous decision victory over Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 127 on Saturday in London. The victory sets up a rubber match at some point down the road, as read news >>
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to London on Saturday with all but one post-fight bonus going to main card fighters. read news >>
Paul Craig’s improbable comeback at UFC-London comes with a nice little bonus. read news >>
Danny Henry hopes his upset of highly touted UFC newcomer Hakeem Dawodu will spell the end of his time as an underappreciated fighter. read news >>
In an exclusive interview with MMAWeekly.com, Rose Namajunas revealed her thoughts on whether or not Joanna Jedrzejczyk deserved an immediate rematch. read news >>
(Courtesy of UFC) Alexander Volkov knew that fighting Fabricio Werdum at UFC Fight Night 127 on Saturday in London wasn't going to be an easy fight, and it wasn't. Aside from Werdum being a former UF read news >>
Following Fabricio Werdum's disappointing knockout loss to Alexander Volkov at UFC Fight Night 127 on Saturday in London, the former UFC heavyweight champion was unwavering in issuing a statement. read news >>
(Courtesy of UFC) On Saturday, at The O2 Arena in London, England, former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum hopes to secure a chance to fight for the title once again when he faces top ten ranked read news >>
Khabib Nurmagomedov doesn't seem all that impressed by the competition in the lightweight division, at least judging by his comments when asked about the top fighters in the world at 155 pounds. Whil read news >>
Michael Bisping made this 10-year-old boy’s day by inviting him on stage so they could “fight.” read news >>