Saturday, May 26, 2018

Joe Rogan is a national treasure and Georges St-Pierre may be the greatest fighter of all time. Thus a conversation between the two is destined to be wildly compelling. It got over 1,000,000 views on YouTube alone in two days. And it took at a deeply revealing turn when GSP appeared on the JRE MMA Show.

“I hate fighting. I really do,” St-Pierre, as transcribed by Anton Tabuena for “I know a lot of people don’t believe me, but I’m going to try to explain the best I can.

“In every job, there’s no perfect job, do you agree? There’s no perfect job that you like everything about it. It’s impossible. My job, as a professional athlete in mixed martial arts, I fight normally — when I was very active — twice a year.

“In 365 days, there are two days that I hate the most: The days that I’m fighting. It’s freaking unbearable. The feeling of uncertainty. You don’t know if you’re going to be humiliated, you’re going to be the victor, or you’re going to be the loser. I care so much about it, that it’s freaking unbearable. As much as I try to dismiss it, it’s unbearable.”

“I like the fact that I’m a free man, I’m my own boss. I do whatever I want, I have access to certain things, VIP stuff, that most people don’t. My quality of life, the money, I didn’t have it before, now I do. I love my job, and I’m very happy about my job, but there’s this thing I hate about my job that I hate the most… It’s fighting. I hate it.

“I love the study of fighting. I love the science of it. The tactical, the physical. I love to train, I love to walk in the room, and feel strong. I know if something happens, I’m the man — even if it’s an illusion, with a bullet, nobody is faster than this. I like the lifestyle. I don’t do it for the fight, I freaking hate the fight.”

“I had this talk with Rory MacDonald at one point. I was like, ‘Hey why do you like fighting?’ He said ‘I guess I like to fight, you like to fight?’ I was like ‘F*** no! I don’t like to fight!’ and everyone in the room turned around and looked at me like I was crazy.

“You guys are all crazy, if you think I like to fight in a cage in front of millions of people! Maybe humiliated, knocked out, or die? Are you crazy?! I don’t like to fight, are you nuts?”

“I like to win! When you win, the feeling is unbelievable! It’s so good, that it’s worth… this. But I hate it, man!”

GSP detailed a particularly hard time, his last fight vs. then middleweight champion Michael Bisping; GSP’s entire corner was losing, including his coach’s brother.

“So Aiemann lost, Joe Duffy lost, Mickey Gall lost,” said St-Pierre. “I go in my locker room, I see one guy with the ice bag. The other guy is all ***ed up, like this. All my locker room guys lost! ‘Holy s****! I freaking hate this job, man!’” said GSP to himself.

“Then everybody is trying to make me think ‘it’s all going to be good!’ One of my agents was trying to tell me ‘don’t worry, it’s going to be fine.’

“It’s okay man, don’t talk to me like this,” responded St-Pierre. “I chose to be here. I’m a warrior. Go sit now. It’s going to be fine.”

“I go in the bathroom by myself. I look myself at the mirror — that’s what I do before my fight. People think I go to the bathroom to piss or whatever, but I don’t.

“I see a lot of negative s***. I tell myself, try to convince myself — like a kid, ‘I’m the greatest, I’m the strongest!’ I think of it, I look at me and think ‘I’m this, I’m beautiful, I’m strong. I’m faster, I’m stronger, I’m going to win. These young guys, they lose, but I’m gonna show them the way to do it. Maybe they failed, but I won’t! I will show everybody how it should be done. I’ll come back to the gym with the glory, to show them that I achieved this, and that’s how it should be done, and they will follow me.’”

“So I try to boost myself. I open the door, and go back. I still hate my job, but I’m a different person than when I got in the door. So I play with mind games like this with myself all the time. Stuff that try to change your attitude.

“It’s very important for a fighter, because confidence is key. If you have the skills, but no confidence, it’s like having money and you don’t spend it. That’s what John Danaher told me. If you have the confidence without the skill, it’s not good too. It’s like a dream cannot be achieved. If you have both, that’s when the magic happens.

“Confidence is not a state of mind, it’s a choice. You can build it in your head. When something bad stuff happens, you build it and work on yourself to build it, and that’s what I’ve been doing.”

Then GSP beat Bisping, becoming only the fourth fighter to win a belt in two divisions. Now he plans to drop to 155. With a belt there, it would hard, perhaps impossible, to deny that Georges St-Pierre is the greatest fighter of all time.