When it comes to the debate over who the greatest of all time (GOAT) in terms of mixed martial arts, who do you have at the top of your list? Does the newly crowned UFC middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre get your vote?
GSP returned to greatness after being away from competition for nearly four years and became the fourth fighter in UFC history to become a two-weight UFC champion by beating Michael Bisping at UFC 217 over the weekend. Speaking on a media conference call on Thursday, “Rush” was asked about the GOAT debate and St-Pierre gave his unique perspective on the topic.
“There is no such thing as the greatest of all time or the best fighter,” St-Pierre said (transcribed by Damon Martin for MMA Weekly). “Listen, there’s no such thing. We all compete under different environments, we all have different problems. Even though you’re the best, it doesn’t mean that you’re not going to lose. It doesn’t mean that nobody is going to beat you.
“Example, I fought Michael Bisping Saturday at Madison Square Garden — at that particular night, at that particular moment, at that particular place, I beat Michael Bisping Saturday night. It doesn’t mean that if I fight him tomorrow, that he’s not going to beat me. It’s the same thing in other sports like hockey or baseball or football. The best team sometimes cannot always win. The team that wins is the team that plays the best the night of the game. It’s the same in fighting. People think fighting is different. ‘Oh, this guy’s stronger than this guy, so he’s always going to win.’ That’s not true. Maybe one day I’m going to make a mistake and I’m going to lose to a guy who’s not as good as me, but maybe nine times out of 10 I will beat him.”
It’s surely an interesting take from St-Pierre, who is considered by many to be one of greatest fighters in the history of mixed martial arts. However, the humble and respectful legend plays it down to a matter of his own experiences.
“There’s no such thing as the greatest of all time. It doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion,” St-Pierre said. “We can speculate about it in terms of achievement. Because that’s the way I think now because of the experience that I gained over the time.
“When I was starting fighting, I wanted to be the strongest man in the world. But there is no such thing as being the strongest man in the world. Everybody can beat everybody at any given day, at any given time. 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 the sport.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/9/2017.