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Firas Zahabi: GSP Lived A Life Of Extremes, You Can’t Do That Forever
Despite vacating his UFC welterweight title after UFC 167 to take time off for personal reasons, MMA legend Georges “Rush” St. Pierre has been in the media quite frequently for someone who is supposedly absent from MMA.
He’s publicly spoken up about wanting things to change in the UFC, noting that he might return if things happened how he wanted. While UFC President Dana White said he would never admit what St. Pierre’s personal issues were, he did act surprised when “GSP’s” allegations aired.
St. Pierre recently cornered Tri Star Gym teammate Francis Carmont for his loss to Ronaldo Souza at UFC Fight Night 36 on February 15, but for the most part, he’s still enjoying his time off. And he should, according to his head trainer Firas Zahabi, who told MMA Junkie Radio that St. Pierre’s training camps were too intense, so much so that the only end result was for him to hate the sport:
“I’ve been a part of thousands of training camps; Georges St-Pierre camps are the most extreme. I think he went too far, too long, and mentally, it’s not feasible. You go home, you get ready for the next workout, and then it’s back to the gym the next day. There’s no balance in your life, and it’s going to weigh on you mentally. It’s a never-ending life of discipline and rushing. There’s no time to enjoy life in his lifestyle.”
“You do it competitively, you’re going to do it to the point where you hate it. You’re going to do it to the point to where you’ve had enough, and there’s still more work to be done, and you have to do it. When you do it for life and for fun and you’ve had enough, you can go home.”
St. Pierre did cite mental burnout for leaving the sport behind, and there’s not much doubt that “GSP’s” life was fighting only. However, Zahabi thinks what St. Pierre did was right, it was just wasn’t sustainable:
“I think what Georges did was right. He lives a life of extremes, but you can only do it for a period of time. Nobody’s ever taken it to that extreme. It’s a question of will; you can’t force that on somebody. Georges did it for too long, and he needs a mental break. The younger generation can learn from Georges. Do what Georges did if that’s the result you want. Just know, you can’t do that forever.”
“GSP’s” coach has some great insights as to why St. Pierre decided to stop fighting for the time being. There’s definitely a chance that he comes back to contend at some point, but that chance probably grows smaller and smaller as time passes.
St. Pierre has left his mark on MMA, and there’s not much left for him to accomplish save for a convincing victory over Johny Hendricks.
With Hendricks set to face Robbie Lawler for the vacant belt at March 15’s UFC 171, will either one of them be fighting St. Pierre for the belt?
Photo: Eric Bolte for USA TODAY Sports