One of the most successful MMA fighters of all time continues to be asked if he will ever step inside an octagon again. Former UFC Middleweight and Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre has always felt the itch to fight, even after being inactive for so long.
Would he consider a true return, however?
Current UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman recently tied St-Pierre’s (26-2) record of most consecutive wins in the welterweight division. As a result, he is looking to challenge GSP to a fight. Having not been active since 2017, St-Pierre dismissed the idea of fighting as an active competitor, at least against Usman.
“For me, it is very complimentary, because, for a fighter, the goal is to do as less work possible to getting the most money,” St-Pierre stated to TMZ. “They know that a fight with me will gain them a lot of money. Plus, if they win they can have the legacy that comes with it. For my part, it’s a mixed feeling. Sometimes I’m watching the fight and I’m like, ‘Man, I think I can beat these guys.’ Or after, when I’m done training, I feel like I’m very confident. But then after I go home at night and I’m thinking about all those crazy thoughts I’m like, I’m gonna be 40 years old soon.
“Do I really want to go back into a hardcore training camp, two months, put myself in jail so to speak, and getting ready for hell? No, I don’t. I’ve done it for a very long time. Unfortunately, in my sport, there are too many guys that retired too late and I do not want to be one of these guys. I’m very fortunate; I’m healthy, and I’m also wealthy. I came at the right time. I made a lot of money, and I think when I measured and calculated the pros and cons it’s better that I stay retired.”
St-Pierre (26-2), the latest inductee to join the UFC Hall of Fame, made his UFC debut in 2004. Right away, he earned a shot at the UFC Welterweight Championship, losing to Matt Hughes. Following the loss, St-Pierre went on a six-fight win streak, and in a rematch, he avenged his loss, taking out Hughes to win the title.
Losing the title to Matt Serra in round one of their fight in 2007, St-Pierre won it back in Montreal. He then defended the title nine times before retiring in 2013. He didn’t return until 2017 when he challenged Michael Bisping for the UFC Middleweight Title. Inside Madison Square Garden at UFC 217, St-Pierre pulled off the ultimate upset, submitting Bisping to become a two-division champion.
St-Pierre has been called out by Usman, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, and others. While he understands that MMA fighters can’t escape the need to fight, fighting Usman is not on his agenda.
“You can take the fighter out of the competition, but you can’t take the competition out of the fighter,” St-Pierre went on to say. “I need to stay objective and smart about my decisions, and right now to come back to fight for the welterweight title against Kamaru Usman and risk it all, there are more cons than pros. So, it’s not worth it for me.”