Firas Zahabi Defends GSP: ‘He Doesn’t Owe Anybody Anything’
After a hellacious, brutal fight against Johny Hendricks on November 16, Georges St-Pierre retained his welterwight title. However, mere moments after the fight in his post-fight interview, St-Pierre announced his intention to temporarily step away from the sport to resolve personal issues. This statement angered Dana White, to say the least.
At the post-fight presser, White vehemently stated that St-Pierre owed a rematch to the fans, the company, and Johny Hendricks. Despite pressure from Dana White, fans, and media, St-Pierre has yet to announce his intentions for the future, leaving most to speculate whether or not we will ever see the Canadian inside the octagon again. In an interview with Sportsnet, head trainer and close friend Firas Zahabi explained the reasoning for St-Pierre’s possible hiatus/retirement.
“Right now it’s about clearing his emotions, finding what he wants to do with life. He’s been fighting for so long, he’s been putting off his social life for so long, making a lot of sacrifices, it’s been almost seven years that he’s been champion, he’s had 22 fights in the UFC. I think he needs to settle down, settle his mind and figure out what he wants to do.”
When asked about the odds concerning St-Pierre’s retirement, Zahabi states that the scales were 50-50. Having earned a decision in a highly contested battle in the Fight of the Night at UFC 167, Zahabi feels as though St-Pierre will have left on a good note should he decide to step away from the sport. When asked by Fight Now TV about the debt that Dana White suggested St-Pierre owes to fans, the company, and Hendricks, Zahabi dismissed any such notion.
“I don’t think Georges owes anybody anything. He has more hours in the Octagon than anybody else.”
Zahabi’s words hold statistical truth. The top three in regards of time recorded in the UFC’s octagon are St-Pierre (5:28:12), BJ Penn (5:03:51), and Frankie Edgar (4:31:11).
However, even with everything said, it is still a mystery as to whether or not the man known both colloquially and iconically as ‘GSP’ will ever return to action inside the octagon. Only time will tell.
[Quotes via Bloodyelbow.com]