Sportsnet’s Showdown Joe just interviewed Georges St. Pierre for 40 minutes at the Gentlemen’s Expo in Toronto. That’s a lot of French-Canadian banter to take in at one time. So let’s boil it down to this:
Georges has been rehabbing his reconstructed ACL with a lot of muscle training. As a result, he has slowly transformed into Large St. Pierre, or Georges St. Pi-Uber, or whatever name hasn’t already been claimed by Alistair Overeem.
“I was always training, but more like fitness, musculation,” he said, making up a sweet new word. “That’s why I’ve got more muscle mass. Now I can get back to fighting training, like wrestling, boxing, Jiu-Jitsu.”
Yes, GSP has a bunch more muscle mass, so much that he had to learn to wield his meatier frame using more efficient body movements. Also, he says, “I hit harder right now.”
But there is no telling yet whether this hulking version of GSP will get the job done, because it hasn’t been tested in simulators. “I haven’t sparred yet Mixed Martial Arts. I did Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, but only drills, like, get into the guy’s legs. I haven’t sparred yet.” Sparring won’t happen for at least a couple months. “I’m gonna go back to sparring . . . like kick, punch, with takedown, ground . . .full contact sparring, I’m gonna get back in 2015.” Until then, he’s taking it easy, waiting until he feels like his movement and dexterity is “100%.”
So the next incarnation of GSP is almost ready for post-production release. The question, then, is whether his relationship with the UFC will facilitate a return. Dana famously insulted Georges at the press conference after his fight with Johny Hendricks. “Does anyone here think Johny Hendricks didn’t win the fight?” he asked. He expressed anger that GSP said he wanted some time off after the fight. “If that’s the case, retire,” White said. And a short while after Dana unleashed his tirade, GSP walked into the room. The estranged champ relived the evening’s awkwardness.
“After the fight, I was in the locker room waiting for the doctor because I had a cut. I needed to have stitches. And I wait a long time for the doctor, and the doctor came, they gave me the stitches. And then after the stitches I told the UFC PR people, I’m going to go to the press conferences, and they’re like, ‘Oh no, you cannot go, you’re not allowed,” and I’m like, ‘What?’ ”
“Then I realized, wait a second, ‘You cannot go?’ Stop me.”
So he surprised everyone, forcing them to endure the “weird feeling” that results whenever a man bursts into a group of people who were just gossiping about his personal problems.
Regardless, GSP understands what Dana was doing now. “What he said, it was smart, because he wanted to create a buzz for me say, ‘OK, I’ll come back and do it again ( he says in an angry voice),’ that’s what he wanted me to do.” But it didn’t work, and Georges explains why.
“When I fought Johny Hendricks and Nick Diaz, I asked myself a question. If you would take a scale of happiness, who would be more happy becoming world champion the night of the fight? Me, who’s going to get the title another maybe eight or nine or ten times? Or the guy who’s going to get it for the first time and it’s going to change his life, he’s going to have the exposure, the sponsors, the money and everything. I think on a scale of happiness, the contender would be way more happy to win it the first time, than me to win it the second time. So that’s when I realized, you know what, on a scale of happiness, I don’t have the same anger. In order to gain that anger again, you need to get out of it and step back. That’s why I take a break. If I want to come back, I need to find that anger back and it’ll take time, if I ever plan to come back.”
Thankfully, this redefined, jacked up version of GSP hasn’t been tested yet. So in that sense, he’s in a good position to test out his theories about initial novelty, competitive passion and ultimate happiness.