Back in 2002, a 21-year-old named Georges St-Pierre burst onto the Montreal mixed martial arts scene by winning his first three fights in the first round, earning the nickname ‘Rush.’ Ten years later, Georges sat atop the UFC welterweight division, but the quick finishes were a thing of the past. His last seven fights in the organization ended via decision.
He was still as dominant as ever, winning 31 of the 35 rounds he fought on the judges’ scorecards. But people couldn’t help but notice the distinct lack of finishes, and what some categorized as a loss of killer instinct. Now, in a candid interview for the upcoming MMA documentary The Hurt Business, GSP himself admits he lost the will to hurt people by the end.
“Critics said I was fighting more to win instead of finishing the fight. And it’s true,” he said. “Towards the end, I didn’t have the same anger, I didn’t have the same drive to hurt a guy and to finish it. It’s a fact. I tried to get it back, but it’s very hard. I think the best way to get it back for me was to step out. Because it’s more of an emotion thing. I was fighting more for winning instead of going through the guy. I needed to step out to let my hunger go up.”
The ironic part of this is that Georges undoubtedly hurt a lot of his opponents worse over five rounds than he would have with a quick finish. He pulverized Josh Koscheck’s orbital socket and orbital plate, an injury Koscheck never really came back from. Carlos Condit may be retiring from the UFC due to the kind of brain trauma he sustained in wars like his GSP fight. It’s undoubtedly a kinder fate to get knocked out quick than get stuck on the end of St-Pierre’s job for 25 minutes.
Whether we’ll get to see the rejuvenated, hungry Georges St-Pierre back in the UFC remains to be seen. Georges is asking the promotion to renegotiate his current contract to make up for sponsorship money lost due to the UFC’s exclusive Reebok uniform deal. Based on UFC president Dana White’s consistent s**t talking and Georges claiming his agent can’t even get a call back, it doesn’t sound like a comeback is too close to fruition.