Georges St-Pierre shocked the UFC and the combat sports world back in 2013, when he announced that he was stepping away from MMA. At the time, still the reigning king of the welterweight division – no matter how you scored his bout with Johny Hendricks – the end of his career came as such a surprise that Dana White started telling people that GSP owed it to fans, the company, and even Hendricks to keep fighting.
No matter how foolish that may seem in hindsight (especially given all the trouble the UFC has had lining up specific title fights lately), GSP did eventually set his sights on making a comeback. His return to the promotion was announced in a press conference back in March, along with a bout against Michael Bisping.
The Bisping fight has since been called off and back on again, and is now officially booked for UFC 217. And with the November date approaching, ‘Rush’ made a recent appearance on the MMA Hour to give fans an idea of what they can expect given his years away from the sport (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“I’ve trained a lot of things,” St-Pierre said. “I’m gonna be more there to hurt guys and to go for the finish. To submit, to break. To go for the break. To go for the knockout or go for the break if i have a submission. Until he taps. I’m gonna be more opportunistic.”
As for why that wasn’t his plan as much in the past? GSP laid some of his lack of finishes at the feet of his opponents, while also acknowledging that it was difficult to want to open himself up to more risk.
“They were accepting the defeat,” St-Pierre said of previous opponents. “They knew they were going to lose before the end of the fight. They were fighting to not get beat up too much instead of fighting to win.
“On my side, I was fighting to win, but it’s hard. You know that if you’re exposing yourself [to] useless openings, [you can] get beat up.”
The proof, however, is always in the pudding, as the saying goes. Georges St-Pierre returns to action on November 4th at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY. He’ll face Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight title, his first bout in a new weightclass. Whether that means a rejuvenated, more aggressive GSP than we’ve seen in years past remains to be seen.