GSP: This Was The First Christmas I Could Spend With My Family

Former longtime UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre turned the MMA world upside down when he chose to step back from the sport after his highly controversial split decision win over Johny Hendricks in the main event of last November’s UFC 167.

A rampant windfall of speculation as to why St. Pierre was stepping out soon followed, with reasons ranging from him becoming a father to his own father being gravely ill. St. Pierre confirmed that none of it was true, however, and that he was just ready to take a break from the extreme mental exhaustion of being champion.

And while the direct aftermath of his debatable win over Hendricks may have been a questionable moment to unveil his decision, St. Pierre believes the time had simply come. He spoke up to the Edmonton Sun to discuss his mindset:

“At the time I thought it was the right time for me to do it. I had a lot of pressure. You know, when you do something for a long time, you have a lot of pressure. People don’t realize how much pressure I have. It’s a lot of expectation. You take a lot of risk. You get so nervous because you care about it. There is so much on the line. The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. But I want to inform you, that sometimes makes you go a little bit on the edge, you know.

“So I needed to take time off to relax, to feel better and to have fun to do it again if I ever wanted to come back. It’s only mentally. I lost fun doing it a little bit and I wanted to get it fun.”

The sheer magnitude of his long stint as essentially the face of the UFC had begun to wear on GSP, taking the fun out of fighting and turning it into an all-consuming grind. During his hiatus he’s already had the time to do several things that he normally would not have, like spending time with his family over the holidays. He touched on the good things that some time away from the sport is doing for his life:

“I just took a break. I spent Christmas time and New Years, with my family. That’s something I haven’t done for a long time. This is the first time I’ve really had nothing on my schedule. It was perfect. It was fun. It’s the first time it felt so good. I’m 32-years-old and this is the first time I have my Christmas with my family. I spent some time but I never really had free time, total free time like I did. It was time for me to do it. I’m very happy I did it and I don’t regret any of it.”

“So Christmas was incredible and now for 2014 we’ll see what’s going to happen. I have some projects in mind. I can’t talk about it, unfortunately.”

It sounds like St. Pierre doesn’t have any regrets about leaving the cage behind, at least for now. He’s still not all that old, and even though he has taken an increased amount of damage over the past couple of years, overall he’s absorbed way less damage than most fighters his age. The door will always be open for GSP to return to the Octagon. Will he ever choose to walk inside it?

Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie for USA TODAY Sports


15 Comments

  1. Profile photo of falcon4917

    falcon4917

    January 12, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Good for him. Glad he's finding life outside the MMA world. He probably locked himself in an MMA prison for a few years and now he's been let out. He's eating his cake now too.

  2. Profile photo of kungfurule

    kungfurule

    January 12, 2014 at 11:46 am

    And poutine!

  3. Profile photo of jmedno5891

    jmedno5891

    January 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    We'll soon find out if him leaving MMA is permanent if he starts ballooning up like Matt Serra…freakin dude looks like a heavyweight now.

    • Profile photo of Kris-tyahn

      Kris-tyahn

      January 12, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      Dude, I said the same thing when I seen him when Weidman walked out for his 2nd fight vs. Anderson. There's gaining weight & there's GAINING WEIGHT, Serra GAINED WEIGHT, he was just as round as he is tall, I couldn't believe I was looking at Serra, the same Serra who fought @ WW. He's at least 200+lbs easy, I'd say he's probably 210lbs minimum. I know he doesn't fight anymore, he's retired & most likely financially set/comfortable, but dude let him self go & then some!

      Retirement is good for Serra – And especially for GSP!

  4. Profile photo of Brian Cox

    Brian Cox

    January 12, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    I'm happy for the champ. I would love to see him enter some grappling contests and really work on his BJJ. My guess is that he'll probably come back; look for a 2015 return if he is. If he takes more than a year off I doubt he'll come back.

    • Profile photo of Kris-tyahn

      Kris-tyahn

      January 12, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      I concur, I'd love to see him fight again, but I think he should retire or if he does come back, he should try LW! He could make LW easily, lose a nice bit of muscle & then he can be like every other champ, be the biggest fighter in 90% of his fights. Silva/Weidman are HUGE MW's and they both walk around HW weight. Aldo walks around 165-175lbs & he fights at 145lbs. Jones walks around 235-240lbs (thats b/c of his diet, even when he's not fighting), Ben Henderson was a HUGE LW, he was above 180lbs etc. Mot sure what Pettis walks around at, but I'm sure he's above 170-175lbs. Edgar & GSP were the only two fighters who fought at a size disadvantage, Edgar was ALWAYS the smallest of the two fighters, while GSP was only bigger than Serra, BJ & maybe Hughes, but not by much. Other than that Koscheck, Fitch, Alves, Shields, Diaz, Condit & Hendricks were all bigger than GSP. GSP walks around at 188-190lbs, and that's mostly muscle, if he lost 10-15lbs of muscle/size, he would be able to fight at LW. then let's see how he does and he finishes more fights while being the bigger, stronger fighter with a reach advantage.

      Anderson Silva was ALWAYS the bigger, stronger fighter @ MW with the reach advantage in EVERY fight, except when he fought Sonnen, if I'm not mistaken Sonnen was still "smaller" but he was much closer in size, strength & reach advantage with Silva. But when Silva fought someone his own size & Weidman probably had 1 or 2 of the advantages before the fight even began, we seen what happened. Same goes for Jones, "destroyed" every opponent b/c he was so much bigger, stronger with a HUGE reach advantage over every opponent, EXCEPT when he fought Gustaffson, and we all seen what happened when Jones fought someone his "size".

      When skill is somewhat "even", size then becomes an issue. As we seen with Anderson vs. Sonnen & Weidman & Jones vs. Gustafsson! GSP vs. Silva at anything other than 170lbs or even 175lbs, means GSP would get spanked b/c of the size difference. Not to mention GSP has NEVER fought above 170lbs, yet Silva wants his 1st fight to be against him, someone who's fought at MW his "entire" career.

      GSP @ LW is what I'd love to see, give GPS the same advantages every other UFC Champ gets, even Rousey is "big" for her weight class.

  5. Profile photo of phildocta

    phildocta

    January 12, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Im sorry and bring on the possible hate but to the comments of gsp fighting silva if he comes back, i highly doubt it because he always had been scared too before, so even after silvas leg break i feel he still wont want too, but who knows. hes a great fighter but, one of the few greats in his career that had an opportunity to move weight classes up or down but didnt,

    • Profile photo of Kris-tyahn

      Kris-tyahn

      January 12, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      "scared" – Ugh yeah okay idiot! GSP is usually the smallest fighter when he fights @ WW, yet you expect him to fight a HUGE MW who could easily fight at HW?!? Like GSP said, Silva wants to fight GSP, so move down to 170lbs & GSP will absolutely fight him.

      But Silva doesn't want to be inconvenienced, he wants GSP to deal with all the battles, gaining weight, losing speed, unknown of figthing at MW, how's his body going to react at an increased 15lbs… etc?!? Yet Silva is the one who called out the smaller fighter, what other time has that ever occured?!? NEVER! If GSP is "scared" – then Silva's a little *****/bully calling out a much smaller opponent. Silva even claimed in an interview that him vs. GSP would be an easier fight, than him vs. Jones.

      BAHAHAHA what kind of prson/fighter takes the "easiest" fight?!? Someone who's a ***** & bully. I cant dominate or even beat fighters my own size when skill is almost even, so I'll challenge a much smaller fighter, so then I can have the size, strength & reach advantage, as well as having GSP fight his first ever fight above 170lbs. Yeah that screams toughness, such big balls on Silva, to challenge a much smaller opponent who's never fought above 170lbs, to fight at 185lbs. Silva's crazy man, that guy lives on the edge. When people type Big Balls, Toughness or suicidal, Anderson Silva's picture should pop up, being the first ever man/fighter to challenge a smaller opponent & then expecting his opponent he called out to fight him at his weight class, and to be inconvenienced to fight him above his weight division for the 1st time, is quite badass.

    • Profile photo of Kris-tyahn

      Kris-tyahn

      January 12, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      I'm sure idiots like you would have no problem with GSP calling out Pettis & then expecting him to move up to WW to fight GSP. I'm sure you morons wouldn't be all over that calling GSP a bully, *****, coward… etc. But Silva askig GSP to move up to fight him, it's GSP who's scared, not that Silva a ***** for asking a much smaller guy to fight him & for him to be inconvenienced so that Silva can get what he wants. If Silva wants it that bad, then cut the weight, it's really that simple.

      Here's a guy who has fought LHW X3 & could easily fight at HW, since he walks around at 220-230lbs, and he challenges a WW/170lbs fighter…. I wonder why?!? Though it does make sense… Silva looking for the easier challenge/fight. Silva stayed at MW, which was the weakest division in all of MMA, until the last year, which Silva lost two fights. Rather than moving up to LHW & fight people his own size with more skill, he decides to stay @ MW to fight top talent like Maia (fighting at WW), Leites, Lutter, Cote, Okami etc. But when he did move up to LHW, he fought the ever so dangerous Irvin, a 1 dimensional bum/striker, WITH NO WRESTLING, Forrest Griffin who loves to stand & brawl/run in swinging, with NO WRESTLING, EZ win for Silva, who's a counter striker & then the retired Bonner who haden't trained or fought in a year, another 1 dimensional BUM with guess what?!? that's right NO WRESTLING.

  6. Profile photo of grandslam

    grandslam

    January 12, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Really happy for the Champ. As a fan, that's how we want our fighter to be after they hang their gloves. Just happy!

  7. Profile photo of SpaceJam

    SpaceJam

    January 12, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Get him on the Mark Hunt KFC.

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