Today, as we expected him to, Georges St-Pierre held a press conference in Montreal to officially announce his retirement from mixed martial arts competition.
In my eyes, Georges St-Pierre is the greatest to ever do it. Many will argue Jon Jones, although he has a permanent asterisk over his career, and some will argue Demetrious Johnson, or Anderson Silva, but nobody, in my opinion, has encapsulated what it meant to be a mixed martial artist quite like GSP. From the class he treated the sport with, to the respect he showed each and every one of his opponents, to his actual performances inside the cage, spanning generations of fighters, to this quote…
“There is three things in life that excite me. There’s a woman of course…dinosaurs…and the violence of the Octagon.”
…nobody’s done it any better.
Now, at 37 years old, Georges has decided to hang the gloves up, going out on top, after his one final dream fight – a supermatchup with UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov – was unable to come to fruition.
There’s not much I could say about St-Pierre that hasn’t already been said about him today (and more eloquently than I could ever put it, at that), but I did want to highlight this moment from today’s presser for all of you to see…
GSP’s career highlight isn’t his first UFC Championship win over Matt Hughes, avenging the only loss on his record at the time. It isn’t regaining his Welterweight title over Matt Serra, again avenging one of the most unbelievable upsets the sport has ever seen. It isn’t the nine-fight win streak he went on afterwards, defying all odds and making history every step of the way, while his home country rallied behind him as one of the most beloved athletes Canada had ever seen. It isn’t even his return post-hiatus, where he defeated Michael Bisping for the UFC Middleweight Championship at the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden – a fight I was fortunate enough to be cageside for.
Over all else, the highlight of Georges St-Pierre’s career, and his proudest moment across the board, came when he was head kicked by Carlos Condit at UFC 154, dropping him to the canvas in devastating fasion – and he got up.
That’s the mindset of a true champion, and true competitor, my friends.
Hats off to tha GOAT, Georges St-Pierre, on the greatest career I’ve ever had the privilege of watching, and THANK YOU for all you’ve done for the sport of mixed martial arts.