He may have only fought once in the past 6+ years, but former two-division UFC champion Georges St-Pierre’s shadow still looms large in the sport of MMA.
Talk of making a comeback for a superfight with Khabib Nurmagomedov is a recurring rumor on the grapevine, while current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who recently tied GSP for the longest winning streak (12) at 170lbs has also been calling for a fight with the Canadian star, but it seems that the 39-year-old has made up his mind to stay retired.
“For me, it’s very complimentary because for a fighter the goal is to work—And not only for a fighter, but the goal is to do as less work possible to gain the most money,” St-Pierre told TMZ. “They know that a fight with me will give them a lot of money and plus if they win they can have the legacy that comes with it. But for my part it’s a mixed feeling. For sure, sometimes I’m watching the fight and I’m like, ‘Man, I think I can beat these guys.’ Or after when I’m done training I feel like I’m very confident. But then after I go home at night and I’m thinking about all that crazy thoughts I’m like, I’m gonna be 40 years old soon.
“Do I really want to go back into a hardcore training camp, two months, put myself in jail so to speak and getting ready for hell? And I’m like, no I don’t. I’ve done it for a very long time and unfortunately in my sport there’s too many guys that retired too late and I do not want to be one of these guys. I’m very fortunate. I’m healthy, most importantly, and I’m also wealthy. I came at the right time, the right timing, I made a lot of money, and I think when I measured and calculated the pros and cons it’s better that I stay retired.”
Though he’s ruled out returning to fight Usman, St-Pierre clearly has a lot of respect for the current king of the division he once ruled.
“I think for me it’s better if I stay retired and I have other big projects right now. I still stay a big fan of the sport, I love to watch Kamaru, I love to watch all the best guys in the sport. … I saw the fight, he’s amazing. What a great fight. He’s very, very smart. Everybody talks about his physical abilities and his skills, but I think what his best attribute is his brain. He’s very, very smart. He’s very good at becoming the perfect nemesis for his opponent. He fought almost a perfect fight. He’s an amazing fighter and he’s gonna go far, he’s gonna be one of the best if he keeps going like that.”
With all that being said, St-Pierre did admit that somewhere within him there is still a desire to compete, but he’s not willing to let his heart rule his head.
“You can take the fighter out of the competition, but you cannot take the competition out of the fighter. I need to stay objective and smart about my decisions and right now to come back to fight for the welterweight title against Kamaru Usman and risk it all, there’s more cons than pros. So it’s not worth it for me.”