When asked who he wanted to face next in a recent interview with TMZ, Kamaru Usman had one name ready to go. None other than former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion, and all-around MMA legend, Georges St-Pierre.
“Georges is a guy who has put his time in and is considered one of the best and that’s where I aim to be at,” Usman said. “He’s still able to come in and be that opponent where people are unsure. Like, ‘You know what? We don’t know if Usman’s got this one.’”
GSP walked away from MMA, belt in hand, back in 2013 having clearly established his legacy as one of the greatest fighters in MMA history. Four years later he challenged Michael Bisping for the middleweight title, defeating the ‘Count’ via 3rd round submission. It was an incredible feat of sporting prowess. Still under 40-years-old, is there a chance that GSP could come back one more time for another chance at UFC gold?
Speaking to TMZ, GSP told the outlet he has nothing but respect for Usman and his skill. But, while he’s flattered by the offer, he has no interest in stepping back in the cage (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“I think for me it’s better if I stay retired and I have other big projects right now,” St-Pierre explained. “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.”
St-Pierre compared jumping back into a fight camp to putting himself “in jail,” and “getting ready for hell.”
“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.”
Of course, in the world of combat sports, it’s never too late to try and mount a comeback. Former UFC action-fight staple Marcus ‘The Irish Hand Grenade’ Davis recently announced he’d be fighting again for the first time since 2014 later this year. And Former UFC champ Pat Miletich recently stepped back in the ring against former boxing champ Michael Nunn for a kickboxing exhibition bout.
Even Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. are planning to put on an upcoming exhibition boxing match. So, it may be a no today from St-Pierre, but there’s still plenty of time for the all time great to change his mind.