Georges St-Pierre: MMA Has Become More Like Pro-Wrestling

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(Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

After four long years away from the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), Georges St-Pierre is now back in the fold and reigning as the new champion at 185 pounds.

St-Pierre made his highly-anticipated return to the Octagon last week in the main event of UFC 217 on pay-per-view (PPV), in which he challenged then-middleweight champion Michael Bisping’s throne in his 185-pound debut. After a tremendous back-and-forth contest, the Canadian was able to down Bisping with a hellacious shot before locking in a rear-naked choke that would sleep the brash British competitor.

While St-Pierre finds himself at the top of a division once again, that doesn’t make him the biggest star in the sport as he used to be when he ran rampant through the UFC’s 170-pound weight class. In the heyday of “Rush,” MMA was built on pure skill and respect, with stars such as Anderson Silva and St-Pierre himself reigning supreme.

Photo by Noah K. Murray for USA TODAY Sports

Nowadays the sport is dominated by brash trash-talkers such as Conor McGregor, and fighters only seem interested in “Money Fights” rather than championships. Recently speaking during an appearance at the New York Stock Exchange, St-Pierre compared the evolution of MMA into what it is today to that of the professional wrestling world; most notably the WWE (via Bloody Elbow):

“The sport has changed. Now it’s more WWF,” GSP said. “It’s crazy. It wasn’t like that when I left off four years ago. Now it’s crazy — also, I was fighting a guy who likes to trash talk, which is different. It was just a different environment.

“The fans are crazy. Everybody is more into it. It was fun though, I was enjoying the process.”