Georges St-Pierre: A true Gentleman in the wild, wild world of Mixed Martial Arts
You don't stay at the top without making a few enemies. But, once in a while, there comes an athlete who changes the sport on its head whilst also garnering the respect of his peers. These are once-in-a-generation athletes, and Georges St-Pierre (GSP is one such athlete. With a career spanning almost two decades, the Montreal-native was one of the driving forces for the UFC breaking into the mainstream.
Starting his career at just 21 years of age, GSP would go on to become a major force in the UFC's Welterweight division defeating the likes of Matt Hughes, B.J. Penn, Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit, and Michael Bisping, just to name a few. But, what makes Rush stand out from the rest is the way he carried himself throughout his entire career.
At first glance, GSP doesn't seem like a prototypical Mixed Martial Artist. He was as jacked as his peers and looked like a regular guy and had a certain poise and grace, generally not associated with the field. Being a French-Canadian, Rush's English wasn't exactly Victorian, as he speaks the language with a heavy French accent. Speaking was never really his strong suit, and St-Pierre understood his weakness and never tried to talk down his opponents.
While he would show up in UFC press conferences, GSP would make it a point to stay calm and focused while speaking to the media and never indulge in any theatrics to hype up his fights. This is not to say characters like the Diaz Brothers or Connor McGregor aren't good for business, it's just that GSP stood out from the pack. He did all his talking inside the Octagon, not on the microphone.
Another reason why GSP is held in such high regard is due to the fact that he has been clean throughout his career. GSP has been one of the biggest proponents of drug testing in professional Mixed Martial Arts. Unlike UFC greats like Jon Jones and Anderson Silva, GSP's legacy has never come under the scanner as he never tested positive for any banned substance.
With GSP officially announcing his retirement from professional Mixed Martial Arts this past week, the curtains have been drawn on the career of one of the most influential figures in modern Mixed Martial Arts. The MMA world will dearly miss one of the Greatest of All Time and we truly believe that there won't be another Georges ' Rush' St-Pierre.