Georges St-Pierre: “The stress was eating me alive”

Posted: February 19, 2014 in Commentary/Opinion

gsp_487_381When Georges St-Pierre stepped away from the sport, it left a huge void. Reactions on his semi-retirement varied from mild displeasure, to understanding, to rage (*cough* Dana *cough*). Some people—including you know who—weren’t happy to hear that GSP wanted a break. White in fact tried to force his into taking a rematch with Johny Hendricks, saying he “owed” it to the company.

As we wrote before, St-Pierre doesn’t owe anybody anything. For several years he was the posterboy for the company. He made the company millions (maybe billions) of dollars and arguably attracted more MMA fans than anyone in history. He doesn’t owe Dana White anything.

He spoke recently to TSN’s Off the Record about his hiatus, which he’s calling a “break,” and not a retirement. Essentially, he left to save his sanity. The pressure he put on himself to carry the belt—and fly the company flag—was too immense.

“I don’t want to have a psychologist or help to keep me on the right track,” he explained. “The stress was eating me alive. Few people can understand this so I needed to step out of it to feel better and to find enjoyment in my life. Now I do.”

While a return isn’t imminent, he also doesn’t rule it out.

“I don’t know if I will retire or not right now. I just knew I needed a break from the competition. I started doing it for fun. Then the fun became a business. Then it was not fun anymore. It was too much pressure.”

It’s very hard to be negative toward GSP on this topic. No one can determine how much is too much for someone else. Credit goes to St-Pierre for recognizing that he was pushing himself too far and absorbing too much stress. Now he can refresh, and hopefully return to the cage again someday.

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