Despite a four-year layoff from competitive mixed martial arts (MMA), former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre returned in prime form last weekend at UFC 217 to dethrone Michael Bisping and walk out of New York City with the 185-pound title.
While St-Pierre is unlikely to remain at middleweight for the remainder of his second tenure in UFC, his victory over Bisping further solidifies his legacy as one of the best, if not the best, pound-for-pound fighter of all time. Still, despite his accolades, GSP isn’t ready to crown himself the G.O.A.T.
“There’s no such thing as the greatest of all time,” St-Pierre said a conference call earlier this week (audio replay here). “It doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion.”
“Even though you’re the best, it doesn’t mean you’re not going lose,” St-Pierre explained. “And it doesn’t mean nobody’s going to beat you. For example, I fought Michael Bisping Saturday night, at Madison Square Garden. In that particular night, at that particular moment, at that particular place, I beat Michael Bisping. But that doesn’t mean if I fight him tomorrow that he’s not going to beat me.”
St-Pierre was considered one of the best ever before his unexpected retirement back in 2013. After a flashy submission finish over “The Count” at UFC 217 after such a long hiatus from the sport, St-Pierre’s track record has become even more distinguished.
“When I started in MMA, I wanted to be the strongest man in the world,” St-Pierre said. “But there’s no such thing as being the strongest man in the world. Everybody can beat everybody at any given day, or any given time. That’s what I learned. There’s no such thing as being the strongest man in the world.
“You can be the best one day, but tomorrow you’re not. That’s the truth about this sport.”
While St-Pierre has always been a humble champion and a martial artist who pays respect to his peers and predecessors, he does have a point. Nobody is safe when it comes to professional MMA. From Anderson Silva to Ronda Rousey, the legends of the sport eventually encounter a downfall, with some recovering and others failing to pick themselves up.
But like those aforementioned names, GSP is forever etched in stone as one of the greatest to ever compete in MMA. Whatever he does from here on out is simply icing on the cake.