Georges St-Pierre talks about why he retired, the Khabib fight that never happened, and the legacy he left in UFC

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Georges St-Pierre shook the foundations of the MMA world by announcing his retirement. The fight that GSP had wanted was one against Khabib Nurmagomedov, however, when negotiations broke down he decided to call it quits. He announced that he was retiring in a press conference on Thursday. In an interview with Ariel Helwani, he talked about retiring, and the legacy he is leaving behind in UFC.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 06: UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre speaks during a press conference at The Star on August 6, 2018, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)

He talked about why he felt the Khabib fight did not take place.

“It’s an unwilling risk that they want to take. I’m older. It could’ve been my last fight. Right now I take one fight at a time. I’m not interested in taking a fight with the guarantee that if I win I have to do something else. Him, he’s younger, he represents an investment. I’m the past, he’s the present. He’s the main guy, he can help the UFC to rise, to reach a different part of the world in terms of popularity. They are very aware of it. Fighting is a sport where anyone can lose on any given day, nobody is invincible. Even though you seem invincible nobody is invincible. I think maybe it was a risk they were not willing to take business-wise.”

During the interview, he also mentioned that he felt the Ulcerative Colitis that he developed was one that was stress-related. While there were genetic reasons as well, he felt that it was also caused by the stress of taking a fight, and another fight might have made it worse.

Last time, he took the lay-off he refused to say the ‘r’ word for retirement. However, this time there was no hesitation, and that it was a ‘happy’ day for him to be retiring. He mentioned that he felt that people should retire when they are on top. All the extra fights that people take while they are on the decline, he felt that they cause damage to the body and to the brain.

When asked about whether he would ever consider coming back, like Floyd Mayweather has many times, he had a clear answer.

“You never say never for anything. Who knows, in a movie scenario one day I might be fishing, and then Dana will call, ‘Hey Georges, are you interested in facing this guy?’ I’ll be like, ‘Eh? Hell yeah!’ Maybe it will excite me, but right now it’s not the case. I’m out of the grid.”

Another message he had was that the last person who knows the right time to retire is the fighter himself, and that’s why not too many people retire while they are at the top.

The fact that Georges St-Pierre will never fight again is one of the most difficult things to accept for any MMA fan. Fans and young fighters alike have grown up watching him, as he was an inspiration to them.  He ended by saying that he will be around and he will be focusing on teaching other people and that he was excited to take on his unknown future. As Ariel Helwani put it, the ending to his career was after all a ‘storybook ending’.

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