Legendary fighter Georges St-Pierre returns

On November 16, 2013, Georges “Rush” St-Pierre successfully defended his welterweight championship
against Johnny Hendricks for the 9th consecutive time in his career. This would mark the last time St-Pierre blessed the octagon with his unmatchable set of skills for over three and a half years.

When St-Pierre announced his retirement after his five round war with Hendricks, he left fans wondering when he would return. He hasn’t fought since 2013.

George St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre lands a left jab against Johnny Hendricks in his last UFC bout before he stepped away from MMA. He successfully defended his welterweight championship in the fight. St-Pierre announced his return to the UFC on March 1. Photo from Flickr

All that changed on March 1, when UFC President Dana White announced that St-Pierre will be returning to fight current middleweight champion Michael Bisping for his undisputed belt on a card to be announced.

Before his unexpected retirement, St-Pierre was considered to be one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world and dominated the UFC welterweight division for more than five years.

With wins over some of the best athletes to ever compete in the octagon, such as Nick Diaz, BJ Penn, Johnny Hendricks, Matt Hughes, Thiago Alves, Jake Shields and Carlos Condit, St-Pierre has cemented his place in the UFC Hall of Fame, but he isn’t finished building his legacy.

Though St-Pierre has been on a three-and-a-half year hiatus, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been training.

“There is a difference between a fighter and a martial artist,” St-Pierre said. “A fighter is training for a purpose: He has a fight. I’m a martial artist. I don’t train for a fight. I train for myself. I’m training
all the time. My goal is perfection, but I will never reach perfection.”

This mentality has been a driving force in the success of St-Pierre, who grew up in St. Isidore, Quebec and was bullied as a child. He was introduced to martial arts at seven years old when his father enrolled him in karate. He dedicated himself to mixed martial arts at the age of 12 after watching Royce Gracie
fight at UFC 1.

Georges St-Pierre’s career has spanned almost 15 years. He currently has 25 wins and only two defeats, 19 of those wins coming in the UFC, putting him at No. 2 for most UFC wins. The man with the most UFC wins is none other than Michael “The Count” Bisping.

St-Pierre holds the record for most UFC wins in title bouts and sits in the top two or three in various other categories. A win over Bisping will also make St-Pierre the fourth fighter in UFC history to win two belts in two different weight classes.

Although the matchup between St-Pierre and Bisping doesn’t appear to make a lot of sense in terms of the direction of the middleweight division and its long list of contenders, one of the biggest stars to ever
grace the octagon is ready to return and regain his record, broken by Bisping.

“He beat my record for the number of victories in the UFC,” St-Pierre said. “I would like to get that back.”

St-Pierre has also commented on his level of respect for Michael Bisping and his “outspokenness,” regarding performance enhancing drugs.

St-Pierre attributed the steroid issue in the UFC and MMA in general as one of the reasons for his retirement.

“I never wanted to do something negative for UFC. The only thing I want is to elevate the sport. I’ve always been one of the guys that fights for the legitimacy of my sport.” St-Pierre said.

The return of St-Pierre has been long overdue and will be more than beneficial for the UFC. He will be 36 when he finally meets Bisping for the middleweight title. St-Pierre also alluded to possibly dropping down to lightweight where the UFC’s biggest star, Conor McGregor, sits at the top of the throne.

“I walk around at 185, 190 pounds. I’m going to fight at 185 right now,” he said. “I even know some guys who fight at 155, walk around in the off season at a bigger weight than I am. I can possibly fight in those three divisions. But I’m back for one reason, I want to make history.”

Author: Jake Howard

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