Georges St-Pierre is without a doubt one of the "good guys" to ever compete in mixed martial arts (MMA).
Throughout his extended run as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion, "Rush" was never involved in any serious drama in or out of the Octagon (like this) to tarnish his image or bring shame to the sport. He did attempt to trash-talk Matt Hughes once ... and it backfired terribly (albeit humorously).
And "Grease Gate" appeared to be much ado about nothing but sour Hawaiian grapes.
So it's surprising to learn that St-Pierre's favorite fighters are bad guys (a.k.a villains), a revelation the French-Canadian shared during a recent media scrum (via MMA Interviews).
"One of my favorite fighters to watch was Tito Ortiz. I liked him because he was very charismatic. As much as I try to be a good role model and a nice guy, my favorite fighters are always the bad guys, I like the villains. Like in Star Wars, I like the Sith Lord better than the Jedi. They are way more charismatic. I like Tito Ortiz because I think he should be a legend in the sport. He is one of the greatest for what he did for the sport. He brought awareness to the sport. Everybody used to watch Tito Ortiz and everybody used to hate him back where I was. They hated him becasue he was a very arrogant guy and he used to dig a grave (after victories). But, I liked Tito Ortiz."
Somewhere company president Dana White is cringing at the thought of St-Pierre putting Ortiz on a pedestal after he just came out suggesting that UFC is potentially in the fight-fixing business.
St-Pierre went on to recount the first time he met Ortiz, revealing that "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" gifted him a bottle of vodka for his win earlier that night in Las Vegas, Nevada, many years ago.
And while some have often gone to the "dark side" to get more fans and attention -- see Ben Rothwell -- St-Pierre says he never felt the need to do so. That's because he doesn't need to fight with emotion and draw up animosity against his opponent.
Speaking of animosity and trash talk, St-Pierre is all for it because different personalities is what makes the sport interesting. To hear him tell it, if everyone was as cordial and mild-mannered when promoting a fight like he is, then MMA would be very, very boring.
"If you talk to Tito Ortiz, he's a very nice guy. It's just that some guys, when they fight another guy they need to put in emotions to give themselves the extra energy to fight. I don't need to do that. I don't work like this, emotionally. I don't need to hate my opponent. Some guys I dislike more than others, and some I like more. I try not to get attached to them. I don't need to be disrespectful or saying anything. But, some guys that is what they do. They need to do that. It doesn't mean they are a bad person. Like Conor Mcgregor, very nice guys, the nicest guy in the world if you meet him. Tito Ortiz, same thing. Chael Sonnen, same thing. But, their characters, when they fight someone they like to put some animosity to promote the fight. And that is good, if everybody would be like me, it would be a very boring sport. It would be the most boring sport in the world. And if everyone was bad, then it would be bad, too. We need to have different personalities."
"The Notorious" certainly approves of that comment.