Georges St-Pierre made a triumphant return to the Octagon last November against Michael Bisping in New York City, proving that he still is one of the best fighters in the world.
While GSP eventually vacated the middleweight title he won off of “The Count” at UFC 217, his continued success remains mostly unparalleled in today’s sport.
Oddly enough, though, St-Pierre doesn’t even really like to fight. That’s not an assumption. Those words came directly out of the Canadian’s mouth earlier this week during an interview with Joe Rogan on the JRE MMA Show podcast.
“I hate fighting. I really do,” said St-Pierre. “I know a lot of people don’t believe me, but I’m going to try to explain the best I can.
“In every job, there’s no perfect job, do you agree? There’s no perfect job that you like everything about it. It’s impossible,” he continued. “My job, as a professional athlete in mixed martial arts, I fight normally — when I was very active — twice a year.
“In 365 days, there are two days that I hate the most: The days that I’m fighting,” he said. “It’s freaking unbearable. The feeling of uncertainty. You don’t know if you’re going to be humiliated, you’re going to be the victor, or you’re going to be the loser. I care so much about it, that it’s freaking unbearable. As much as I try to dismiss it, it’s unbearable.”
Despite his disdain for fighting, St-Pierre is pretty damn good at it. The 37-year-old has amassed a near-perfect career record of 26-2, avenged individual defeats to Matt Hughes and Matt Serra, and has won 12-straight title fights dating back over a decade.
While St-Pierre’s accomplishments ultimately set him apart from his competition, it is his timid personality that leaves him different from the rest.
“I had this talk with Rory MacDonald at one point,” St-Pierre said. “I was like ‘hey why do you like fighting?’ He said ‘I guess I like to fight, you (don’t) like to fight?’ I was like ‘F—k no! I don’t like to fight!’ and everyone in the room turned around and looked at me like I was crazy.
“‘You guys are all crazy, if you think I like to fight in a cage in front of millions of people! Maybe humiliated, knocked out, or die? Are you crazy?! I don’t like to fight, are you nuts??’,” he said.
“I like to win! When you win, the feeling is unbelievable! It’s so good, that it’s worth... this. But I hate it, man!”
St-Pierre stepped away from mixed martial arts (MMA) once again after UFC 217 due to a battle with ulcerative colitis. He is indecisive about his potential return to the cage, but has already created buzz for a potential superfight with current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is undefeated professionally at 26-0.
If GSP finds himself on the doorstep of another fight he does not want, whether it be against Khabib or another UFC champion, at least he knows his jitters will subdue when the cage door shuts.
“I hate the day (of the fight),” St-Pierre said. “The closer it gets to the day, I love it, but I start to hate it more. It’s like a hate that builds up, a bubble of hate. By the time that it’s time to freaking walk out, the millisecond that it’s about to fight (it’s gone).”