Anderson Silva Empathizes with the Pressure: “We’ve Got to Respect Georges St-Pierre”

December 17, 2013
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Anderson Silva vs Georges St-Pierre 478x270Georges St-Pierre on Friday announced that he was vacating his UFC welterweight belt to take an open-ended leave of absence. He left the door propped precariously open.

“One day, I may come back, but right now, I need a break,” he said.

St-Pierre cited undisclosed personal issues, as well as the pressures of fighting at a championship level – in fact, fighting at a pound-for-pound best level – for several years, as the primary reasons for stepping away.

“I need to have a normal life for a little bit,” he added, the weight already lifting in his voice as the words tumbled out of his mouth.

Many people immediately began to sympathize, others to criticize.

But one man can truly empathize with St-Pierre… former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

He, unlike anyone else, is suited to understand St-Pierre’s emotions and the pressures of being a champion for such a long time, to be considered amongst the elite of the elite for years.

“I think that everyone knows their right timing and their moment they’re living and we’ve got to respect Georges St-Pierre for everything that he’s done in this sport,” Silva told MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday. “If he feels that this is the correct time, we’ve got to respect him.”

Silva, following his loss to Chris Weidman at UFC 162 over the summer, sounded as if he might follow the path that St-Pierre is now on. He sounded like a man that finally had the weight removed from his shoulders, the weight that comes from years of lugging a gold strap over your shoulder.

“Chris is the champion now. I finish my work,” Silva commented in the Octagon after Weidman knocked him out. “I no more fight for the belt. I fight for the belt for a long time. I’m tired.”

With the belt removed, it didn’t take long for Silva to stoke his competitive fires and want to get back in the Octagon. She is a seductive mistress.

Within weeks of the loss, he decided that he would rematch Weidman, and again pursue championship gold, welcoming the pressure back into his life.

Whether or not that same thing happens to St-Pierre remains to be seen. Will he have a realization that being a champion is as necessary to him as the air he breathes? Or will he discover life outside of the Octagon holds more for him than a gold belt can deliver?

Regardless of St-Pierre’s eventual direction, Silva says it is each man’s journey to travel, and that St-Pierre deserves the respect to follow the road that best suits him, not anyone else.

“Everyone knows their time and their moment that they’ve got to retire to take a step away, so we’ve got to respect him.”

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  • David Huenecke

    I agree with silva. Let gsp step out for a bit. Now hopefully we can see fighters that finish fights and bring some more excitement to the division.

  • Kenny Powers

    I was never a real big GSP fan, I found most of his fights boring, with the exception of the Hendricks fight, and I don’t like how he always played it safe. That being said, I have so much respect for the guy. He was always a humble champion, class act, and even though I wasn’t always impressed by his performance, he was such a talented fighter. He was the champ for a long time, and if he wants to take a break or retire, he has every right to do so. You can’t take away what the guy has done.

    • Rosco110

      Ur a dumbass!!! U found most of his fights boring… U clearly know nothing abt the sport or GSP! DUMBASS

      • Dragon Kid

        Since he became the long term champ his fights were pretty boring other than the BJ Penn, Hendricks & Condit fights since he had become a points fighter by then. He was way more exciting before he ever became champ, always looking to finish and when he did finish a fight he usually impressed.

      • Kenny Powers

        Name one recent GSP fight besides Hendricks that u would call exciting. He lay n prayed Diaz, Condit, Hardy and Alves, and jabbed Shields and Kos for 5 rounds. The only exciting part about Georges fights is when he gets rocked, liked in his last 3 fights. Im not saying he’s like a Fitch, he’s a great fighter, but his style isnt exciting.

        • Bucket of Chicken

          Lets see you win a UFC championship so we can critique your fighting style.

          • Christopher LaHaise

            You don’t have to be a fighter to understand fighting. He’s right in that GSP was much more defensive as a fighter than when he was gunning for the belt. A lot of champions do that – the psychology changes – you have a lot more to lose than to gain by taking risks when you’re already the champion. And I’m a HUGE GSP fan. Kenny, here, agrees that we should respect what GSP has done for the sport – you shouldn’t ignore the positive Kenny’s said and focus only on the negative.

        • Kris-tyahn

          GSP got rocked in his last 3 fights?! Hendricks yes, Condit’s head kick yes, though it lasted all but 30 secs, but I do not recall Diaz doing much if anything except getting owned on the feet and ground equally. Also, GSP fighting 3 rounds is when he was finishing guys, but when you have to fight 5 rounds, you cannot have the same type of plan/expectations. Sonnen himself said that GSP was destroying people when it was only 3 rounds, bc he has to pace himself for 25 mins. Another thing people need to look at is, how many times was BJ finished?! Once by Hughes and GSP was the 2nd and last to finish BJ and he made him quit. When were guys like Fitch, Alves, Shields, Condit and Hendricks finished before they fought GSP?! Shields went 7 yrs undefeated, Fitch was 6 yrs before they fought GSP. Same with Hendricks and Condit, those guys barely loss, let alone got finished. If GSP is such a safe fighter, why can’t his opponents do anything against him?!?

  • Rence

    Its so easy for people to criticize GSP for being boring. For not going for the finish. For “playing it safe”.

    But at the same time, thats not really fair. I mean, there are, you know, typically TWO guys in the cage. Why no criticism for his opponents for not beating a guy who was just playing it safe? IS GSP playing it safe or, are his opponents just good fighters who are tough to put away? The ONE time I can recall in his recent fights where he could/should have finished was when he had Dan Hardy in that armbar. Had GSP gone the Mir/Rousey route and just cranked on it til Dan tapped or it snapped, he’d have finished that fight. But other than that, he’s been fighting the toughest guys in the WW division since he got the belt.

    Also, yeah when he was fighting to get the belt, he was much more exciting, much more aggressive. But until he had the belt, he had nothing to lose. Once he got the belt, it became something else. Then it was a matter of not just beating the other guy, it was a matter of simply not allowing him to take the belt. Why expose yourself to a potential loss when you dont need to? Do what you have to to get the W.

    Having said all that, if/when he comes back, i fully expect to see the “old rush” going out there and tearing guys up as he climbs back up the ladder to the championship again. Because then, he’ll once again have nothing to lose until he has the belt again.

    But, it might just be me that sees it this way.