Georges St-Pierre is one of the greatest athletes to ever compete in mixed martial arts. He held the UFC welterweight title for most of 2006 to 2013 and went into semi-retirement with an impressive 25-2 record, carrying wins over a who’s who of his division.
When he stepped down as champion, he said, “Physically I’m 100 percent, I’m still young, I’m on top of the world. But mentally I just feel like I cannot go through another training camp right now and I don’t know when I will be able to.”
Georges has an obsessive personality and his life revolved around training and fighting, to the detriment of the rest of his life. Taking a break was about finding balance … and perhaps he has, as he’s about to kick off a training camp to see where his physical and mental state stands today. His boxing coach Freddie Roach talked about the camp with the LA Times:
“He’s very logical about [a possible return],” Roach said. “He’s going to have a six-week training camp. We’re going to train every day like we’re having a fight, and at the end of the six weeks, if he feels he has the desire to go on with it — if he wants to fight — then we will fight again.”
“If he doesn’t, we’ll call it quits.”
UFC President Dana White was once one of the loudest proponents of GSP returning, but that was three years ago.
He doesn’t sound particularly enthusiastic about the former welterweight champ stepping back into the cage now:
“I highly doubt it’s going to happen because GSP’s been off for too long and has a ton of money,” White said. “You don’t do a six-week camp to learn if you have the hunger. You either know it or not. Robbie Lawler knows it, he’s hungry, he trains like an animal. You’re either hungry and an animal or you’re not.”
“It’d be great if he comes back, yes, I love Georges St-Pierre — amazing athlete — but comeback talk? I laugh at it. To be a world champion, you have to be hungry. That’s not GSP. Not even close.”
White is nothing if not honest when it comes to expressing his feelings, even if it might hurt St Pierre’s feelings. The relationship between the two has cooled since Georges was the company’s top PPV draw, with Georges spending much of 2014 and 2015 criticizing the UFC’s handling of performance enhancing drug testing.
With the UFC now on board with full-on WADA testing, those criticisms are a thing of the past. And while Georges may not be interested in returning to the regular rotation and making another run at the belt, there are a couple of big superfights out there that could be made if he wants to compete once a year.