At a press conference in Montreal, Quebec on Thursday morning, St. Pierre sat down in front of cameras with two Ultimate Fighting Championship belts flanking him at his table. Without any notes or written statements other than the contents of his cell phone, St. Pierre stated that he did not want to have to keep referring to a piece of paper because it could get “boring.”
Starting the press conference purely in French, St. Pierre (26-2) went on to apologize for having to do this in multiple languages, and then translated his remarks into English for the audience.
He opened, saying, “It takes a lot of discipline to retire on top….”
Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, “farewell to a King.” To, in my mind, the best to ever do it. A truly vicious, technical Muay Thai striker who transformed himself into one of if not the most effective functional wrestler in UFC history. Seriously, in a world of NCAA Champions and Olympians GSP came to MMA with no wrestling background and became THE take-down artist. On top of all that, he is indeed a BJJ blackbelt and a master positional control. The fight always occurred where GSP wanted it to.
St. Pierre started out as great, wanting to be great. Then he suffered his 2nd career loss, to Matt Serra, and a switch inside him got flipped. He was embarrassed. A true martial artist who was always disciplined when it came to his training, GSP became as focused as one could in all other aspect of his career as an MMA fighter – he quit partying, went on a diet that would make TB12 blush, and dedicated himself to not being great, but the best. The slick, cocky striker became a brick shithouse of a kickboxing wrestler who mauled every opponent he faced from then on out. Sure, there weren’t many finishes to come by, but this more had to do with “Rush” being more of competitor, a champion, than a fighter. He always hated hurting people.
Now he sails off into the sunset, having beat some of the best. Hughes, Koscheck, and Sherk. Penn, Diaz, and Bisping. He won titles in two weight classes, leaving as, technically, the linear Welterweight Champion. GSP wanted to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov as his final bow, one last great challenge against a fighter with a similar style. It’s not crazy to think he maybe saw a younger version of himself in “The Eagle”. It wasn’t to be though, for who knows how many bureaucratic reasons, Instead, St. Pierre retires still fairly young (37), financially secure for life, and free of the crushing anxiety he always felt leading up to a fight – his least favorite part of the job, ironically.
Between his intelligent, classy way of addressing the media and fans (admittedly subsidized by his French-Canadian accent), his preference to wear a suit to press conferences, his chiseled physique, his work ethic, and his utter fucking dominance, I don’t think we’ll see another like Georges St. Pierre. How can you ever have another of the first? So “Rush,” “GSP,” our favorite fighting Quebecois, we now say “a plus tard.” It’s been a hell of a ride.