Georges St-Pierre shocked the lots when he determined to stroll away from MMA in 2013, however he had his causes.
One of the dominant champions in UFC historical past, St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) vacated his welterweight belt after he edged out Johny Hendricks for his ninth consecutive title protection at UFC 167. Though he was nonetheless within the prime of his profession, St-Pierre defined how a number of underlying points led to his choice.
“I had numerous points with the UFC due to performance-enhancing medication,” St-Pierre informed Burt Watson within the newest “Legend 2 Legend” episode. “We have been speaking behind closed doorways, and I do know they know that numerous their athletes have been utilizing performance-enhancing medication. However I’m not silly. I understand how enterprise works. They didn’t need to take a look at them as a result of they know numerous their champions would fall. I believe I carried an excessive amount of strain for too lengthy. I used to be champion for a very long time, and it’s arduous to turn out to be champion, but it surely’s even tougher to remain champion as a result of you may have numerous strain on your self.”
St-Pierre’s retirement was prolonged however turned out to not be everlasting, as he returned in 2017 to defeat Michael Bisping for the middleweight title at UFC 217.
“I believe I simply wanted trip, and I used to be in some sort of despair on the time,” St-Pierre mentioned. “I used to be ashamed to confess it as a result of I had a dream life. I’ve some huge cash, I’m wholesome, and I used to be ashamed to confess that I used to be going in direction of despair, as a result of I didn’t know the way individuals would take into consideration me. They’d be like, ‘Oh, what does he should complain for? He’s champion of the world, he’s wealthy, what the hell is he complaining for?’ So I used to be ashamed, however I used to be going via psychological despair and on prime of that I used to be preventing within the UFC in opposition to performance-enhancing medication, and I had numerous private points. I simply wanted a break.”
St-Pierre’s cut up choice win over Hendricks was seen as controversial by many who believed Hendricks gained after he pushed the champion to the restrict like by no means earlier than throughout his title reign. Wanting again, St-Pierre admits he ought to have walked away just a little sooner.
“I believe I ought to have retired after the Nick Diaz combat (in March 2013),” St-Pierre mentioned. “I ought to have taken a break. If I’d have carried out that, maybe I’d have come again earlier in my profession, however I didn’t as a result of I felt the necessity to all the time combat the following man as a result of there was all the time a subsequent man, and that’s how I noticed as quickly as you end a combat, there’s a subsequent one and a subsequent one, as a result of the game of blended martial arts is promoted about what’s subsequent. It’s not promoted about what occurred previously. What’s subsequent, what’s subsequent, promote, promote, promote. We have to promote the following one, construct up who’s the following massive factor that may beat the champion.”
Throughout St-Pierre’s long-tenured championship reign, the U.S. Anti-Doping Company drug testing program had not been applied by the UFC. A powerful advocate for drug testing, St-Pierre mentioned he requested that Hendricks get examined previous to the combat, however when the UFC didn’t grant his want, he was now not all for competing if he wasn’t assured a degree taking part in subject.
“On prime of the psychological and emotional battle, I had a sh*tty coaching camp,” St-Pierre mentioned. “I used to be drained, like mentally burned out. So I used to be coaching for the combat and making an attempt to make it in a means that – as a result of within the interview I used to be telling Johny Hendricks, ‘OK, let’s do drug testing earlier than the combat,’ and he agreed to start with however (later) mentioned no. He didn’t need to do it, and I realized after that the UFC informed him to not do it as a result of they didn’t need to begin a development that individuals begin doing it.
“As a result of I do know there are numerous good fighters which are sincere and don’t cheat, and it might have made numerous guys which are sincere who assume that their opponent is perhaps dishonest, to do the identical development they usually didn’t need that to begin. In order that they informed Johny Hendricks to not do it as a result of I needed to do it with VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Affiliation) on the time. So after the combat with Johny Hendricks, proper after the press convention, I went in a room with Lorenzo (Fertitta) and Dana (White), and I informed them what I consider this entire factor. … I assumed it was corrupted, and I left.”
Try the video above to listen to GSP communicate extra about what prompted his choice to stroll away. The complete episode of “Legend 2 Legend” may be seen under.