Coach On St-Pierre: I Don’t Think He Can Walk Away From Fighting


Ever since he vacated his long-held UFC welterweight title in 2013, and went into a semi-retirement, the questions have surfaced as to when and if former champion Georges St-Pierre will return to action, but these hopes seemed to have died down.

However, these hopes are now back in full force after St-Pierre recently said that he was once again getting that “itch” to fight, leading fans, and media members to believe that maybe we haven’t seen the last of the Canadian superstar.

St-Pierre’s long-time coach and mentor Firas Zahabi spoke up on his star pupil, saying that he doesn’t think “Rush” can walk away from fighting simply due to his competitive nature:

“”I know Georges so well, I know him better than himself,” Zahabi told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s The MMA Hour. “I know Georges. I don’t know if he can walk away. I don’t think he can. I never talk to him about this stuff, because when I see him — everybody’s been asking him every single day everywhere he goes. I know that because everybody’s asking me every single day who he’s fighting. “I just personally think he cannot sit on the sidelines for too long. That’s just the type of guy Georges is. He’s just that type of personality. He has to compete. And when he’s really done with fighting one day, he’s going to compete in something else. He’s just a competitor. I don’t know if he’s going to take up golf or something, but he’s going to compete the rest of his days. And I think that itch hasn’t gone.”

While he will support St-Pierre no matter what, Zahabi admitted that he would like to see GSP fight again just because he’s a fan of arguably the greatest 170-pounder of all-time:

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“I really hope he does come back because I’m such a fan of his fighting,” he said. “That’s the truth. He doesn’t need to come back, I don’t need him to come back, I think he’s amazing…I just want him to come back because I’m a fan. And if he wants to come back or not I’ll support him. I don’t think he owes anybody anything, so I’m behind Georges 100 percent. But I think he’s a hardcore competitor. His psyche is built to compete, and he’s going to do it eventually one way or another, whether it’s in MMA or something else.”

The landscape of mixed martial arts (MMA) changes rapidly, and at this point, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler has taken his spot as the current welterweight champ, and has looked destructive in the process. However, Zahabi believes that with proper training, St-Pierre could still beat the division’s best:

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“If Georges preps with a training camp, he’ll beat anybody,” he said. “I really feel he’s the best of the best. I think he does his training camp, he prepares, and it’s not calling out Robbie or anybody else, I think he’s the best. Him and Rory, I believe in my guys. If they get prepped, they will win.”

Many have given GSP props for leaving the sport on top, something others have not been able to do. That being said, those same people believe that he should stay retired so that he will not tarnish his legacy, but to Zahabi, it’s not about being perfect, it’s about doing what one loves to do:

“You know what, you’ve got to do what’s fun for you,” he said. “Are you not going to do something you love because you want people to think you’re perfect…because you want to leave a perfect legacy? Are you going to live your life for what other people think of you, or are you going to enjoy yourself and do what’s fun for you? “I think Georges loves the competition, he loves the adventure. He’d be doing it because he loves to do it. Who cares if people don’t think you’re perfect. What if something bad happens? So what. You’re still Georges St-Pierre, it doesn’t change anything. And I don’t think anything bad will happen, but at worst, I think he could live with it. It’s not the end of the world. He’s going to do what he loves to do, what feels good.”

At the end of the day, the Tristar coach put it plain and simple saying that “Rush” still has some fight in him if he indeed wants to make another run at it:

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“I think so,” he said. “I think he’s got plenty of fighting left. He’s a beast, man. You see him in the practice room, he’s a beast. I don’t think he’s slowing down a bit.”

Will we finally see the return of one of the sport’s all-time greats?