Today, the 21st of February 2019, is a day that will go down in MMA history. Today is the day that one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time brings his career to a close. Today is the day that Georges St-Pierre announced his retirement. The former middleweight and welterweight champion announced his retirement today with an official statement he released via social media and during a press conference he called earlier this week. Here is that statement:
In addition, during the press conference today he said “In combat sports, you should retire on top. That is very hard to do. I’m glad I had the discipline to do it.” He thanked Royce Gracie for inspiring him, Wayne Gretzky who was his idol, the fans for the years of support and his managers and trainers from over the years. GSP reminisced about his career and addressed various moments such as proclaiming that his proudest moment was standing up after the head kick that dropped him against Carlos Condit and then going on to win that fight. He also touched upon his loss to Matt Serra saying that he felt “humiliated” and it really hurt his ego.
Furthermore, many fans were speculating on whether or not GSP would address the rumor of a possible matchup between him and the current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. GSP acknowledged Khabib’s call out and confirmed the rumor that a fight between the two was on the cards at one stage saying “We tried to organize the fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov. I know Khabib wanted it and I wanted it. But the UFC had other plans…I wish Khabib the best of luck. I’m a big fan. I think he’s the best fighter right now. I love to watch him fight. I can’t wait to see what’s next.” Despite this, he went onto say that if Dana called him back for another fight and it interests him, “We’ll see. But right now I’m not thinking about it. I’m out.” He did explicitly exclaim though that he doesn’t want anyone to call him out.
Georges St-Pierre retires at 26-2 only losing to Matt Serra and Matt Hughes, legends in their own rights. He is a 3rd dan black belt in Kyokushin Karate, 1st-degree belt in BJJ, and a black belt in Gaidojutsu and Shidōkan. He is a former UFC middleweight and welterweight and interim welterweight champion. He holds the record for the most UFC wins in a title fight, the third most consecutive defenses of a UFC title, the most wins via decision, the most takedowns and has 4 fight of the night titles to his name. This is just a snapshot of the achievements his warrior has to his name. GSP is a true mixed martial artist in every respect.
Time waits for no man and the emotions felt by fans today will be a bag full of sadness and happiness. Sadness because they will never get to see him grave the octagon again but happy that he will always be remembered for going out on top and preserving his life so he can continue to teach, train and be an ambassador for mixed martial arts,
On a personal level, GSP is my idol in mixed martial arts. He is a symbol for what we all should strive to be like as martial artists and I will sincerely miss watching him fight. #ThankYouGSP
“I keep the white-belt mentality that I can learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime.”