Georges St-Pierre may be retired from MMA, but he hasn't quite retired from the public eye. As one of the premiere stars in mixed martial arts over the last decade GSP is a figure in high demand, even if he's not looking to step back in the cage anytime soon. And it sounds like retirement is still the plan following a recent interview with Combate, where GSP reiterated his statements that he left the MMA world to take care of his mental health. (translations provided by Bloody Elbow's Fernando Arbex)
"I'm not sure. I have followed what is happening in MMA and I like to not have to think about it. I just want to be off and watch the guys fighting, see what happens with the system and a bunch of things which I can't talk right now. Maybe I return some day if things happen the way I think they should. A lot of crazy things has been said. I read once that I was out because I was on a treatment to detox. Some of the rumors made me laugh. The reason of why I took this break was to keep my mental heath. Few people know how tough it is to be at the top for so long. The pressure is not the same of one in a common fight. Every fight is for the world title, it is necessary to do a large number of promotional actions. I didn't have to do anything, all I did was because I wanted to, if I have to do them again I will be happy to do. I'm happy now. I gained muscle mass. The stress of the fights was eroding me. I started to lose weight. It was psychological, I had to do this break to recover my mental health".
Judo Chop: Lyoto Machida's Karate Rhythm
Lyoto Machida is set to face a dangerous opponent in Gegard Mousasi, in a bout that could earn him a shot at the middleweight title. BE's striking specialist Connor Ruebusch breaks down the unique rhythm the Dragon will use against the Dreamcatcher.
It's still a little surprising to hear him talk about the physical effects of the mental and emotional wear and tear of fighting. And of course it opens up an avenue of "eye tests" and pharmacological speculation that is ever present when a fighter talks about changes in their physique.
St-Pierre has also, apparently, taken some time to review the footage of his fight with Johny Hendricks. And while he doesn't sound entirely pleased with what he saw, he still feels that the right man walked away with his hand raised.
"I watched a lot of times. I always watch my fights to identify mistakes and I made a lot of them in that fight. If I had to fight him again, I would do a lot of things differently, but I think I won. I respect everybody's opinion, but I think I won more rounds. MMA fights have five rouns and the way I understand the rules there are five fights of five minutes. That is how I see and how I make my strategy. If you don't like how fights are judged you have to change the system, the rules or your strategy. That is how it works. The way I see, I won rounds 3 and 5 and lost rounds 2 and 4. The first round was too hard, I think I won because we tied in number of takedowns and significant strikes but I had the guillotine, I got close to end the fight and Hendricks didn't. People talk about bruises in my face, but my skin is too light and thin. Watch my fights against Condit, Diaz and BJ Penn, I was busted in all of them".
GSP has always been somewhat notable as a master of the gamesmanship of MMA, but it's nice to hear him reaffirm his views on MMA as sport and proper strategy as key to winning big fights. It's a hard lesson for many fighters to lean and often runs contrary to the desires of fans and promoters, but there are ways of fighting that will secure rounds and win fights and St-Pierre is nothing if not a master of MMA methodology.
And on a final comfort note, because what is a GSP interview without a mention of Anderson Silva, St-Pierre made it clear that he's still interested in fighting the former middleweight champion. He even went as far as saying he'd fight Brock Lesnar, if the rules could make it a fair fight. Perhaps they could leg wrestle.
"Everything has a possibility. Look, some want to fight me because of my name or because of the money. I would fight Anderson Silva. I would fight even Brock Lesnar if it was a fair fight for both. If I have to fight a heavyweight make it happen in a racional fashion. I fear nobody, but I'm not stupid".
So, anyone up for an Alistair Overeem vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Georges St-Pierre triangle-death-match? I'm already reaching for my wallet.