Georges St-Pierre explains decision to retire from MMA: “I stopped because of the stress”

Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre revealed his reasons for hanging up his gloves in MMA, and discussed whether he could ever return to the Octagon.

The widely regarded G.O.A.T officially retired from MMA in February 2019. He is often praised for retiring whilst still on top, as he was riding a 13-fight win streak and had already claimed welterweight and middleweight belts.

For St-Pierre, retirement was a better option than dealing with the stress of fighting.

“I retired not because I can’t fight any more,” the 39-year old said to South China Morning Post.. “I could fight again if I wanted to and I believe I could probably be one of the best, maybe the best. But I stopped because of the stress. It was an unbearable feeling for me, so I never enjoyed it, the moment of competing and fighting. That’s something that, a little bit, I regret. I should have enjoyed it more.

“The stress took a lot out of me and that’s one of the reasons why I retired. I retired not because I can’t fight any more. I could fight again if I wanted to and I believe I could probably be one of the best, maybe the best. But I stopped because of the stress.”

Throughout his career, the UFC Hall of Famer battled some of the very best in the world, including Michael Bisping, Johny Hendricks, Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit, Josh Koscheck, BJ Penn, Matt Serra, and Matt Hughes. St-Pierre insists that he only felt intimidation from himself and not his opponents.

“In my sport there is a lot of mental warfare,” he said. “There is a lot of trash talking. There is a lot of intimidation. A lot of my opponents tried to intimidate me. It didn’t work. I’ve always been scared, of course, but I am scared of not being good enough, of not performing, or not being as good as I want to be. That’s what I am scared of. I am scared of myself in a way.”

Georges St-Pierre has always been open to a possible return against the undefeated lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. “The Eagle” is ready to face off, but the UFC show no signs of interest in organizing the blockbuster matchup.

With a possible clash against Nurmagomedov on the back-burner, St-Pierre feels fulfilled with his legacy.

“But in my sport a lot of people retire too late.,” St-Pierre said. “Not only in MMA but in boxing. The fighter is always the last person to know when to retire. So one of the things I didn’t want to do is retire too late. Yeah you never say never but for me right now I am very satisfied with what I have done and I believe in an extreme sport like MMA that when you are satisfied then it’s the end.

“Yeah you never say never but for me right now I am very satisfied with what I have done and I believe in an extreme sport like MMA that when you are satisfied then it’s the end.”