Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre sent shockwaves throughout the sports world when he unexpectedly walked away from fighting following his ninth consecutive title defense at UFC 167 on Nov. 16, 2013. He later revealed that Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder played a role in his decision.
It’s been four months since “Rush” exited the octagon after making the announcement, and the 32-year-old says he’s healthier and happier than ever.
“I actually feel more healthy than I’ve ever felt before. The stress of the competition was eating me alive,” said St-Pierre during a recent trip to Brazil. “I even gained like three kilos of muscles mass. I feel great. I feel good.”
For St-Pierre, his reasoning for stepping away stemmed much more from the mental side of things than the physical. He didn’t just need to rest his body, he needed to recoup his sanity.
“I don’t want to have to need a psychologist or help to keep me on the right track,” he said during an interview with TSN’s Off the Record (watch the video here). “The stress [of being champion] was eating me alive.
“When you are a champion, you’re always a target. There is always another guy [gunning for you].”
Now, with those pressures alleviated, St-Pierre still remains in the public eye – he has a starring role in the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie – but he’s appeared much more relaxed than during his years-long stint atop the UFC welterweight division.
Whether or not it’s enough to inspire St-Pierre to return to fighting remains up in the air.
“Who knows? Maybe in time I’ll get bored and I’ll want to come back. We’ll see what’s going to happen,” he said. “Right now, I’m pretty happy. I have a healthier lifestyle. I feel very good right now.”