I turned into at the manner to UFC 204 in Brooklyn to watch the inaugural ladies’ featherweight identify combat among Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie, a competition many have because forgotten about.
Moments after leaving my hotel and navigating the properly sized amounts of ice and snow on West 58th Street, I saw a face inside the distance which seemed exceptionally acquainted.
It changed into none aside from ‘GSP,’ though at the start I turned into adamant my eyes have been gambling hints on me.
“Surely that couldn’t be Georges,” I said to myself. “He’s trying to haggle for a taxi.” It later turned out he changed into on his manner to Renzo Gracie’s to teach with John Danaher.
I turned into so positive my eyes were deceiving me that I asked a passerby, ‘Is that Georges St-Pierre?’
The woman I fired the question to had no I became speakme about and appeared returned at me as though I’d asked her to sum up the that means of life in much less than three phrases. But as I walked nearer, my doubts have been washed away.
“Georges St-Pierre,” I stated after getting into talking distance of him. He spoke back with a wry smile, even though he looked amazed to have been recognized.
After a few brief chit-chats, I cheekily requested him if he’d thoughts giving me five mins of his time for a quick interview. He kindly obliged.
That second of kindness and the unprofessional selfie I took seconds after interviewing St-Pierre will for all time be ingrained in my memory once I consider ‘Rush,’ in addition to his mythical profession – which has ultimately come to an end.
St-Pierre has closed the book on his 17-year profession following a failed bid to fight UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, an opponent who might’ve provided him the opportunity to end up the primary fighter in UFC history to maintain titles in 3 distinct weight classes.
Had a fight with Nurmagomedov come to fruition and he bested the undefeated Russian, which no person has come close to doing, he would’ve really long past down as the finest of all time.
But for plenty – myself included – St-Pierre doesn’t need any extra shiny championship belts, especially one of the new straps, to complete his legacy.
His mythical reign at the summit of the welterweight department, which included 9 title defenses, has already seen him lay one among – if now not the pleasant – claim to the ‘best of all time’ name.
The dominant style in which he beat his opponents in the course of his stint on the summit of the 170lbs division will live lengthy within the reminiscence of many mixed martial arts fanatics, though some will criticize his finishing ratio at some point of that point. But it’d be wrong to miss the masterclasses he placed on towards Josh Koscheck and Jake Shields, who have been picked aside at will with a Freddie Roach-stronger jab, only due to the fact he didn’t finish them. And you would be a fool to make light of his quartet of victories of corridor-of-Famers Matt Hughes and BJ Penn.
Yes, he might not have racked up as many finishes in name fights as different GOAT contenders Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, Demetrious Johnson, and Fedor Emelianenko, however, his body of labor speaks for itself.
And not like like Johnson, whose resume is frequently frowned upon when his claim to the GOAT title is mentioned, there are not any questions over the caliber of fighters he fought.
St-Pierre handily beat the exceptional the welterweight department had to provide and did so when all of his opponents have been all of their top, a listing of sufferers which possibly can most effectively be rivaled with the aid of Jones’ CV. And, not like Silva and Jones, he did so without failing a drug check for tainted dietary supplements or pulsing picograms.
For myself, and plenty of others, St-Pierre’s pièce de résistance passed off in his very last trip into the remaining proving ground.
The combating delight of Canada cemented his legacy in the game on a chilly New York night time at Madison Square Garden in November 2017 at UFC 217, wherein he returned from a four-yr layoff to project Michael Bisping for the middleweight crown.
For years, St-Pierre changed into chastised for no longer transferring as much as 185lbs and tough Anderson Silva for the middleweight strap, with many even claiming he was scared to achieve this.
It changed into becoming, though, that his long-awaited circulate up to middleweight happened while it did – nine months after our hazard come across – and that one of the maximum hallowed combat sports activities arenas inside the world played host to it.
All plethora of questions had been being asked earlier than Georges took to the cage that night time. ‘How will he appearance after his layoff? Is he too small to be a middleweight? Has he bitten off extra than he can chunk?’
He spoke back those questions emphatically, filing Bisping inside the 0.33 round to grow to be a two-department champion and further etch his name into mixed martial arts folklore.
While one could freely debate the argument of the best fighter to have ever fought, what can’t be puzzled is his conduct and decorum inside and outside of the cage.
In this point in time of the exceptional and maximum insulting trash talkers getting the limelight, one hopes the adolescents of today appears at the instance St-Pierre set at some end of his career and version themselves on a person who is the actual embodiment of a martial artist.