An article in La Presse (QC largest newspaper) has been published today, featuring an interview with Kristof Midoux. For those who don't know him, Midoux is one of GSP's closest friend, and the earliest mentor when he started in MMA at 16 years old. Midoux is always by GSP's side during the walkout and in his corner come fight night.
In this article (in french here), Midoux says at 32 years old, GSP has accomplished all that he set out to do and it is now time for him to turn the page on MMA and start a family, before it's too late.
"I told him, Georges after this, it's over! Go out, do your best, finish that guy in front of everyone and shut up your critics. If you finish this guy, if you knock him out, then you'll be free and happy to take the microphone and tell the world you're done now. That it's time to leave it to others" explained Kristof Midoux in his long interview with La Presse. "I told him once he finishes him (Hendricks), have the courage to take the mic, thank all the fans and everyone, but it's over. Those that don't understand, they'll never understand anyways (...). It'll be time Georges starts thinking about himself, to enjoy life, enjoy being with his family. That's the greatest gift he can give himself."
In anticipation for UFC 167 and as with all the previous GSP battles, Midoux has arrived in Montreal to share an apartment with him, follow him everywhere, makes sure there are no distractions and he remains focused. They talked about the possibility of retirement, the future.. The question remains however, will everything work out like Midoux hopes they will? Any chances that St-Pierre listen and say farewell to the sport of MMA Saturday night, in the middle of the octagon? Midoux thinks so.
"I don't want him to stick around until he is 35, 40, until it is too late and he becomes a shell of himself. A mistake too many great fighters before him have made. He has other projects."
Midoux remembers giving GSP very simple advice , several years ago: do not start a family before you're retired.
"You need to be selfish. It's hard to be at the highest level, and have a family, chilren, all at the same time. He listened to me. He has had 'the greatest career in the world', it's time to be 'the greatest dad in the world'. At now 32, it's the right age. People want to see him fight until he is 40, but it won't do him any good if he's alone, without a family, and a shadow of his old self in the octagon."
St-Pierre always said he wanted to leave "at the top". He said he's aware of the dangers of his sport, and knows that those who hang on for too long sometimes suffer the consequences and irreversible damage. "After my career, I want to grow old, play with my children (...) I don't want to be 60 with my body broken and unable to do want I want to do. That's not me." explained Georges St-Pierre
In this article, Midoux also explains that GSP has one more good reason to leave now: his fellow teammate and friend Rory Macdonald, who could very well be ready soon for a title shot. "Rory can become the champion. But he'll never want to fight Georges, because they're friends. So I told Georges: don't stop the kid from becoming the champ, let go of the title and let him grow. Your own career is done now, you've accomplished all you've set out to do, "
Will GSP retire on Saturday night after his fight against Hendricks? GSP's closest advisors seem to have prepared us for this outcome in the past several months.
Or could this a ploy to boost UFC167's PPV sales, as some might suggest?