It was a different era that Georges St-Pierre ruled four years ago. The former welterweight king’s return is like the embryos in Jurassic Park making it possible for dinosaurs to roam the Earth again, only instead of a T-Rex in the city, it’s St-Pierre in 2017’s UFC middleweight division. During his reign, GSP wasn’t just fighting contender after contender, he was also fighting for increased drug testing in the sport. Something that wouldn’t be fully implemented until he left to take a break from the pressure of being the king of the jungle, surrounded by never-ending Velociraptors.
“It’s a different set of rules now, I was fighting against a whole system back in the day. I was very outspoken about the drug problem that we had, people made fun of me, ‘ahhh, he’s a paranoid guy, he says that as a way to go and retire.’ But look what happened now … a lot of the UFC champions have fallen to the performance enhancing drugs, getting caught.”
Finally signing my UFC 217 Bout Agreement vs. Michael Bisping for Nov. 4th at MSG – Get ready for a big night in NYC!!! pic.twitter.com/VgqIVnsLwv
— Georges St-Pierre (@GeorgesStPierre) August 9, 2017
“When I left it was not because of damage [to my body], it was more anxiety, nervousness, I couldn’t sleep well. I kept thinking, it was claustrophobic, just too much pressure. When you’re champion, you feel you’re the center of the world. Even though you’re not, it’s an illusion, because of the pressure, and it’s a pressure that is different than other sport because it’s a surviving pressure, your life is threatened in the real, real deepest way … You can die. When I was fighting at welterweight, every time I finish a fight it was a guy, and another guy. It was crazy, I had killers one after the other boom, boom, boom, and I couldn’t breathe.” — Georges St-Pierre speaking to The New York Post.
If Georges St-Pierre is able to beat Michael Bisping, they’ll be a long line of monsters waiting for him and their shot at the middleweight title. Will he stay and get locked into the same situation defending the belt, or will he vacate and search for other challenges? First, he has to get past Bisping at UFC 217 on November 4th at Madison Square Garden. If he loses, Georges St-Pierre has said he will officially retire.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/15/2017.