Revealed! Georges St-Pierre says battle with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) reason behind UFC leave

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

After months of rumors and speculation regarding the reason(s) behind Georges St-Peirre's decision to walk away from mixed martial arts (MMA), the former UFC welterweight champion reveals it was his battle with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) that drove him away from the fight game.

The reason for Georges St-Peirre's decision to step away from mixed martial arts (MMA) -- other than a lack of drug testing from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) --  has finally been revealed.

And it has nothing to do with an ailing father, sour ex-managers or baby mamas, for that matter.

During a recent interview with CBC News, "Rush" revealed that it was his battle with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) that's been driving him crazy and forced him away from the sport he's dominated for the better part of the last decade.

If you're wondering how something like that affected him, Georges explained it the best way he could by saying, while having the disorder isn't all negative for a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, obsessing over an opponent on a daily bases and the pressures that come with being a target, were just too much to handle.

His words:

"As a competitor, as a fighter, it's a good thing to have it because it makes you better, because you completely obsess about being a better martial artist. Every day, everything that you do is oriented toward a goal. This same obsession I have about my work, my job, to make me better, it was going to drive me crazy. That's why I took that break. I don't call it a retirement because I don't know if it will be, but, I had to step away from the competition for a while. I've been doing it for so long. First, I started because it was fun, I loved it. Then the fun became a business. Then the business with the critics, the expectations, the pressure; you're the target and everybody wants what you have. You become obsessive like crazy, so, I had to get out to keep my mental health."

The Mayo Clinic says OCD is characterized as having unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions).

Furthermore, if you have OCD, you may or may not realize obsessions aren't reasonable, and you may try to ignore them or stop them. That, however,  only increases distress and anxiety. As a result, a person feels the need to perform compulsive acts in an effort to ease stressful feelings.

And Dana White said GSP's issues were "really not that bad."

When asked if his break has helped his overall mental state so far, Georges said it has.

He explains:

"I feel very good. I had my first New Year's and Christmas with my family, I mean a real one. I can spend as much time (with them) as I want. I don't have to go away because I have a fight coming up or training. Because when I was competing, I was completely obsessed about it. I needed to take time and leave for training. Now, if I ever come back, it will be my choice."

On the flip side, OCD might also explain why "Rush" has been able to dominate the sport for so long, seeing as how perfection was not just a goal, but rather, an obsessive necessity.

Since walking away from the sport, and his title, almost two months ago, Georges has kept his lips sealed -- even though he's been doing plenty of interviews -- regarding his MMA hiatus and his future plans.

But now that he's spilled the beans and the pressure has been lifted from his shoulders, Georges can get back to enjoying life away from the cage and focus on his mental well-being.

However, that doesn't mean fight fans should rule out a potential MMA return from the the former 170-pound champion.

To hear more of St-Pierre's interview, which includes his firm stance on drug testing in MMA, a potential comeback and future as an actor, watch the video embedded below:


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