The clock is ticking away on the "sustainability" of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre, who turns 32 in less than two months. Hardly over the hill when compared to guys like Dan Henderson, 10 years his senior, but the French-Canadian has shortened his career's lifespan thanks to this devastating knee injury.
And getting hurt is like getting knocked out. It gets easier and easier as time goes on.
That could explain why "Rush" injured his achilles ahead of his most recent title defense, a five-round unanimous decision win over Nick Diaz in the main event of UFC 158 earlier this month in Montreal. I guess that's the kind of stuff that happens during an "insane" training camp.
One that could help expedite the end of St. Pierre's career, according to longtime trainer Firas Zahabi (via Sherdog):
"His training camps are not sustainable forever. His training camps are very difficult. I've done a lot of training camps. I could tell you the energy, time and money and hours spent doing a GSP training camp is ridiculous. It's borderline insane. There's a lot of effort going into preparing him for his fights. Can he live this lifestyle for another four or five years? I don't know. Because it's not a balanced lifestyle. It's not a balanced lifestyle for him. He's giving up a lot of free time and leisure time and experiences he could be having in life to maintain his title, to maintain this excellence. It's a difficult thing to do. He's going to have to make that choice one fight at a time. Does he want to go through another training camp? Right now at this time, yes, for sure. There's no doubt in my mind he wants to do another one, but down the line, two or three more training camps, is he still going to want to do it? That's up to him. Does he still have the fire and the passion? We'll see."
Injuries have been a recurring problem in mixed martial arts (MMA) and cards are often changed on-the-fly because fighters can't seem to keep themselves from getting hurt. Look no further than one of Zahabi's other TriStar students, top welterweight contender Rory MacDonald, who came up lame in practice (again) and had to abandon the UFC 158 fight card (find out why here).
You can't say Nick Diaz didn't warn you as far back as 2007:
"I'm a long distance fighter not like these fragile guys who always get hurt in training. How the hell do you get hurt so much in training? Stop flipping tires and jacking up all these weights. He (Georges St. Pierre) is an explosive guy, a strong guy, but how long do you think his body is gonna let him keep that shit up? Five years? I doubt it. He gets hurt every time and then admits it. Diego (Sanchez) is over there tearing his quad. What kind of crazy shit are these guys doing? Kill, kill, kill is their motto but then they go and drink on the weekends. That's okay but I smoke pot and I'm an asshole."
St. Pierre is expected to put his 170-pound title on the line against division number one contender Johny Hendricks. Unfortunately, that's a fight that could be six months away because yep, you guessed it, the champ is hurt. That's what happens when you train as "insane" as Batroc the Leaper does.
Which according to Zahabi, may not be for much longer.