And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
-Henry The Fourth, Part 2 Act 3, scene 1
Before the loss of his title to Chris Weidman at UFC 162, Anderson Silva discusssed repeatedly the increasing pressure of being the greatest champion in the UFC.
It is a pressure that few can truly understand, or maybe only one can understand. When asked if he, too, felt the pressure, UFC welterweight Georges St-Pierre was at a loss for words.
"I can understand a little bit what he means by that," said GSP finally after a long pause during Monday's UFC 167 media day.
"It seems like when you're champion for a long time, it's the fans, the people, that demand something different. They want the change. As more fights happen, they put more pressure. The pressure builds and builds and builds and builds up until it explodes. It's hard sometimes mentally, even for me sometimes, it's hard because my life changed. You need to find a way to keep having fun, and even though the critics are there, you keep having fun at what you do."
"In Montreal, before I could've gone wherever I want. Now it's different. I'm a shy guy. I'll tell you the truth, I don't enjoy being bothered, and I never say no to a fan. I say yes to everybody. But I don't enjoy this. That's not the reason why I'm fighting. I'm fighting because I like to do what I do.
"For the fans, it's part of the game, and you have to do it even though sometimes you have some days that you don't feel like it. ... You still have to do it because you owe them. They're the people that make me live."
GSP illustrated how far fan adration can go, by relating an incident from several years ago.
"I was sitting on the toilet and I heard screaming, ‘GSP! GSP are you there?!'" he explained. "I was saying to myself, ‘Are you serious? Is he really calling me while I'm on the toilet right now?' And I didn't say a word. So I'm waiting and I'm like, ‘Shoot, I can't believe he's doing this to me.' I'm a shy guy. I don't like to be on the spot. So I wait. When I finished, I flushed and I even waited the next five minutes to make sure everybody that was in the [bathroom] when the guy called me ... was gone, so it was different people because I don't want to be put on the spot."
An up and coming fighter can prepare himself to fight. But how do you prepare yourself for some UGer yelling at you through the stall of an airport bathroom door?
GSP sounded a little weary as he looked into the future.
"I always want to fight the best guy, but there's so many guys coming up. They're all calling me because I'm the champion, so I'm the target for them," St-Pierre said. "I have the crown. One day, one guy beat me; he's going to have the crown, so it won't be me anymore."
"People forget a little bit. I don't believe I will still be as famous as I am now, because I'm the champion and have the spotlight. One day I will retire. I will go away and after maybe three years people will start to forget a little bit. Some people will still recognize me. It won't be as much."
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