Newly-crowned middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre may have successfully defeated Michael Bisping at UFC 217, but before he did, his team was skeptical about how the fight could have played out.
In fact, GSP’s team told him outright that it was a bad idea to fight Bisping, the two-time UFC champ revealed to MMA Junkie following UFC 217:
“What I’ve done, it’s never going to be taken away from me. It’s something I will keep for the rest of my life. Maybe one day I will go through some negative thing in my life. I will be able to think back about that moment, and it will make me smile. That’s what it is what people don’t understand. I do this to live a moment. I lived a moment.
“I feel very privileged to live that moment. It was a big risk, but bigger the risk, bigger the reward. Even though a lot of people in my entourage told me it was a bad idea, I always trusted my myself and I always believed I was able to do it, and I did it and I’m very proud.”
While the risk may have paid off against Bisping, St-Pierre was realistic in his assessment of the fight game. GSP came out of a four-year retirement to challenge for the middleweight title after a grueling fight against Johny Hendricks back at UFC 167, a fight he won by controversial split decision and also a fight where he left battered and bruised.
With recent revelations regarding brain trauma and concussions, St-Pierre remains deliberately vague when discussing his plans for the future:
“The goal in this game is to retire on top, to not leave too late like a lot of guys like Muhammad Ali,” St-Pierre said. “They made the mistake of believing they were on top, but when you start to get a little bit greedy thinking that you’re special – we’re all human beings, and nobody is invisible. There’s no such thing as being the strongest man. When I was young, I wanted to do MMA because I wanted to be the strongest man. There’s no such thing. I realize now. Everybody can beat everybody on any given day.”
GSP is expected to defend his middleweight belt against interim champ Robert Whittaker sometime in the near future, however, even that is far from certain to happen.
Should St-Pierre continue fighting now that he’s middleweight champion? Or would a brutal loss to a top middleweight like Whittaker, Brunson, or Romero tarnish his historic legacy?