Georges St-Pierre: Why I’m not the GOAT
When a fighter signs with the UFC, he or she fills out a form with biographical information that includes the question, “Do you have any heroes?”
Although a number clearly forgot to, 49 did remember to list welterweight GOAT Georges St-Pierre. In a recent interview with Thomas Gerbasi for UFC.com, GSP said he was surprised and honored to learn that he is likely the most often cited hero to the sport’s elite. He noted that when the sport was young, MMA did not enjoy the positive reputation that it does now, so he worked hard to carry himself in a manner that did not bring disgrace to the sport.
He also said it makes him feel a little old. And the conversation turned as well to who is MMA’s Greatest of All Time.
“What does being the best of all-time mean? If it’s to compare every athlete who competed at their time and who was the most dominant at their time, who had the most achievements, for me it’s Royce Gracie,” said St-Pierre. “If you talk about who’s the strongest guy, if you would put everybody in the cage, who would come out alive, I think it would maybe be Fedor Emelianenko in his prime. If you talk about the more flamboyant guy, the one who did some crazy stuff that you only see in movies and stuff like that, I would say maybe a guy like Anderson Silva or Vitor Belfort. If you say the more well-rounded guy, I would say maybe Demetrious Johnson. If you ask about who’s the guy who faced the most adversity, maybe Jon Jones. But whoever you name, it’s a subjective thing, it’s an opinion.”
“There’s a lot of guys for different reasons who could be considered a G.O.A.T., and there are pros and cons, but I truly believe it does not exist, because if you talk about who’s the best, I think the best has not even been born yet. Royce Gracie, as magnificent as he was, he was the number one guy and he achieved things that still today have not been achieved – if you would put him in the cage against the competition today and ask how he would do, he would not do well because the sport has changed. The technology has become better.
“I remember when I wanted to learn jiu-jitsu, I needed to drive to New York and be in the class to learn an armbar or a choke. Now you can learn it in two minutes watching on the internet by a guy who lives in a different country from you. So the technology makes the performance better. The best example of that is, look at sports where you can measure things. For example, sprinting. Usain Bolt is the fastest man that ever lived that we know of because we have the evidence to prove it. It’s the same thing in all the Olympic sports you can measure. However, you cannot measure fighting because it’s one guy against another guy, and there’s no instrument of measure that you can have to compare.”
“The further we go into the future, the better the guys will be. There will always be new up and comers that are better that will beat the records of the previous ones. But I think we should never forget who was the first one to pave the way. There were no weight classes, they were fighting three times a night and there were headbutts and crazy things that you could do back then. That’s why, for me, Royce Gracie is the number one for me. He’s my favorite fighter, and the G.O.A.T. for me is Royce Gracie.”
GSP also talked about the extraordinary risk-reward in MMA. He recalled crying with his friend David ‘The Crow” Loiseau before a fight, vowing this was the last one, that he wasn’t built for the sport. Then both fighters won, and the pair couldn’t wait for the next fight. St-Pierre was open that he never loved fighting, but he loved the rewards of being champion. And now?
Now, I miss the rewards, I miss the feeling of winning,” he said. “But I don’t miss the feeling of fighting, not even a second.”
At UFC 257 UFC president Dana White will sit down with lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, about having a final fight, and pushing his record to the 30-0 that he and his deceased father/coach Abdulmanap long aimed for. “The Eagle” has been clear that only fight that holds any interest is vs. Georges St-Pierre.
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