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Tuesday, 12/17/2013, 08:19 am

TriStar coach Firas Zahabi Happy To See ‘GSP Enjoying Life Again’

Georges St-Pierre hasn’t been the same. Not in a long time.

Most hardcore fans can see it. Every fight that goes by, GSP seems more and more stressed; more overworked; more on-edge.

He’s a perfectionist. Constantly training with the best of the best, in the fields that they excel at. Gymnastics, wrestling, power-lifting, track and field… GSP cross-trains in just about every facet of physicality that he can find. Anything that will give him even the slightest edge, come fight night.

And then there’s the actual fighting.

“Rush” has fought nothing but the best of the best, with only a few exceptions (Dan Hardy comes to mind). His resume is filled with top five opponents, and all of them have been suffocated by his excellence. Simply put, and in my humble opinion: Georges St-Pierre is the best of the best. And that kind of talent begets a huge amount of stress. Both physically and mentally.

And that stress has finally caught up to him.

Last week, GSP relinquished his welterweight championship in order to handle some personal issues, and perhaps get a much-deserved chance at enjoying life. Not that he wasn’t enjoying his jet-flying, limousine-riding lifestyle. Of course he loves the life he has. But he needed to find a balance.

Dana White seemed to be okay with the decision, which is a nice change of pace from his attitude on the subject a few weeks ago (which I couldn’t help but write an article about).

Although some pass-aggressive tones seemed to surface a bit, when Dana was speaking about GSP and his opinion about being blocked from attending the UFC 167 press conference.

Head trainer and TriStar chief Firas Zahabi was a guest on this week’s MMA Hour, and shed some light on GSP’s decision, and how the possibly-temporary retirement is treating him so far:

The guy has been fighting for too long, missing too many birthdays, too many weddings, too many life experiences,” Zahabi said. “He wants to balance his life out. If you were to spend a day with Georges, you’d be exhausted. There is so much going on it’s ridiculous. It’s crazy.”

Zahabi admits that he would love to see GSP come back to his fighting career, but as of right now, they’re just focusing on the here and now:

I’d love for him to come back,” confessed Zahabi. “If he finds something he’s really passionate about, if he finds something else, plays another sport, or whatever, he may get addicted to whatever and I could see him jumping into something. But he’s not going to be happy watching TV. He needs a lot of action. But he also needs some down time.”

Zahabi goes on to say that – although GSP is always in good spirits – he seems to have reinvigorated himself, and is loving life at the moment:

Georges is right now the happiest I’ve ever seen him. His mood is better. He’s sleeping better, he’s gaining weight, muscular weight, not fat.”

The stress was making him weaker, miserable, he was suffering,” Zahabi concluded. “He didn’t have peace. He had too much stress in his life. Now we’re doing jiu jitsu and wrestling for fun.”

As a fighting fan, I’m sad to see GSP take time off. But as a GSP fan, I’m very happy for him. He deserved this, and hopefully if or when he comes back to the UFC, he fights with a newfound excitement for the sport he loves.

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