Georges St-Pierre knows a lot about bouncing back from defeat. The iconic Quebecois, and arguably greatest MMA fighter of all-time, suffered one of the biggest upsets ever but followed that up with a storied period of dominance.
Recently GSP was asked about what Conor McGregor needs to do in order to replicate that kind of success. The question comes months after McGregor was dealt his first ever loss to strikes in MMA. That defeat came at the hands of Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 in January.
St-Pierre sees some similarities in his story and McGregor’s. When giving advice on how McGregor can turn around his current form (3-3 since beating Jose Aldo in 2015) St-Pierre suggested it was time for the Irishman to get uncomfortable.
“When I made my first million, of course my life has changed,” St-Pierre told ESPN (ht MMA Fighting). “I had more security and I didn’t feel that I was fighting for the same reason that I was in the beginning in terms of security. When I was poor in the beginning, I was on the edge. I knew if I lost I would have been dead and my life would be a mess. When you get money, these things change.
“However, to keep performing, you need to get out of your comfort zone. You cannot stay in your comfort zone during a training camp because you’re trying to recreate the same element that you will face for a fight. When you’re gonna fight, you won’t be in your comfort zone, so it is imperative that Conor, if you want to get back on the road of success, he needs to get out of his comfort zone. He needs not to be the boss of his training camp. He needs his coaches to tell him now you’re gonna spar this guy, you’re gonna go there, do this. Even if it doesn’t please him, he needs to go through that. Because if you stay in your comfort zone, the only thing that can happen is you will go down. You need to do that.”
St-Pierre’s first (and only) TKO loss happened at UFC 69 in 2007. That night Matt Serra, fresh off winning The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback, shocked the world by rocking and then finishing St-Pierre in the first round to claim the UFC welterweight title.
After that loss St-Pierre regrouped and then beat Josh Koscheck and Matt Hughes before rematching Serra at UFC 83 in 2008. He demolished Serra the second time around to reclaim the undisputed welterweight title.
St-Pierre then went on a tear defending his title nine times before retiring from the sport in 2013. St-Pierre made a surprise return to the UFC in 2017 to take on Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight title. ‘Rush’ won that belt after choking out Bisping in the third round. He announced his retirement, again, after the fight.
Now a UFC Hall of Famer there seems like little chance that St-Pierre ever competes again. Though, there were rumblings that a fight with newly retired Khabib Nurmagomedov was a possibility. However, both men have since ruled that out.