Ronda Rousey: “You Can’t Really Blame Georges St-Pierre for Feeling Like He Was Done”

December 19, 2013
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Ronda Rousey and Georges St-PierreHow many times have you said to yourself, or overheard someone else say, “Yeah, if I was getting paid what that guy gets paid, I could do what he’s doing. No problem. Just show me the money!”

But if you sit back and think about, would you really live up to your end of that bargain?

Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre recently vacated his belt and stepped away from the sport that he has dominated for several years.

When he did, many of the comments were made across social media that he was scared to step into the Octagon again with Johny Hendricks, who many people thought won their main event fight at UFC 167 in November. Many of the comments were to the effect: Man, what a wimp. I wouldn’t walk away like that, not with the kind of money he’s getting paid. GSP should step up and give Hendricks his rematch.

At the end of the day though, there are few people in the world that would actually commit to the time, effort, and dedication it takes to become an athlete the level of a Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, or Ronda Rousey.

There are even fewer who would be willing to step into the Octagon, get punched repeatedly in the face, and punch someone else back, and then navigate the firestorm of criticism and invasion of privacy that comes with such celebrity.

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was tossed head-first into the public blender when she entered the UFC. The mixer has only increased in speed since her time on The Ultimate Fighter and her rematch with Miesha Tate pending.

She is one of the few people in the world that has accepted the commitment and pressures that drove St-Pierre to step away. She is also one of a minority that has an intricate understanding of the emotion that runs through St-Pierre’s veins.

“We’re not really doing 9-to-5s and sitting down in a cubicle. If you fight for a living, you’re fighting for your life every time you go in there,” Rousey said during a recent UFC 168 media conference call. “It’s a stressful situation if you think about it. The worst thing that could happen in your day isn’t that someone will get your latte wrong or that you might get fired. It’s that you could really get physically harmed.  Not just that, but your pride could get irreparably harmed as well, and that’s a lot of stress that you face time and time again.

“It’s so much that you really have to have a real love and desire for what you do,” she continued. “You can’t really fight and put your life on the line for anyone other than yourself.  And every single time a new fight comes along you need to ask yourself whether you still want that.”

Beyond the pressures of the fight itself, Rousey also has a take on why now was the time for St-Pierre to hang up the gloves, if only temporarily.

“You have to think that Georges had just passed the record for the most time ever spent in the octagon, like actual time,” said Rousey.

St-Pierre has amassed five hours, 28 minutes, and 12 seconds of fight time in the Octagon. Of course, that is spread out over the course of several years, but it’s still a lot of stressful time wondering if you’re going to land the knockout blow or if your opponent will get the job done.

“So, you just broke a record. No one else has spent that much time in the Octagon as him ever before,” Rousey continued. “Can you really blame him for really feeling like he was done, because no one else had reached that point yet.

“I don’t think that it’s totally reasonable to expect him to do more.  If he wanted to do more, that’s awesome. Break that record even more. But if he feels like he’s done, than that’s fine, man. Be done. Go rest. You deserve it. You don’t have to risk your life for anyone.”

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  • macarrech

    For once I agree with her

    • RUSH

      Ronda, said it the way it should be said, such kind, and understanding words from Ronda. GSP has proven everything to himself, and there’s nothing more to be proven, he’s done, god bless him for everything that he has brought to the sport of MMA,. Go rest, and have fun, GSP.

  • Usmc8408

    I’m sorry, but I’m tired of fighters constantly saying “I put my life on the line (i.e. Tito).” I’m more at risk of dying during my daily commute. Health and well being yes, their life no. ***…end of my whiny complaint….

    • TNT

      I agree. My buddy is a welder at the local cheveron refineary. He has to climb inside fuel drums and weld inside of them. He risks his live everyday. Until people start killing eachother in the octagon they are not risking their lives. Their only putting their reputation and record on the line. At worst they will lose their job. And then get a real job! It’s not life or death

      • Whodunnit

        Life can be used in the sense of livelihood as well. She was talking about health risks, but many fighters entire ‘life’ is on the line in the fact they need to win to keep getting paid and to keep their UFC career on track.

        The amount of stress that comes with that is immense I’d imagine.

        I think Rousey’s comments are well thought out here. Good change from the emotional wreck on TUF she was.

        • Usmc8408

          Yeah, I don’t think she was being literal with her comments, but it just reminded me of others who were….so I wanted to rant a little.

      • hodgepodge

        People have died in rings and cages. Concussions are brain damage which could lead Alzheimer’s ruining your life. Those risks i’d say are greater than working in the oil patches.

        • Lawdog1521

          You’d be wrong. 800 die a year in the oil industry. How many die in the octagon per year?

          Not only are you wrong, you’re massively wrong.

      • them_bonez

        You’re both idiots! Take a wrong blow to the head and you could suffer a brain hemorrhage and die. Get picked up and spiked on your head and you could break your neck and die instantly. That’s not dangerous? You guys have no idea because you don’t do what they do. So please do the more knowledgable fans a favor and keep your ill informed opinions to yourselves.

        • Usmc8408

          Don’t reduce yourself to personal insults. You’re better than that. And no one is denying the dangers of fighting, so relax….I’m not your enemy. It’s just a lot of fighters make it seem like it’s one of those “2 men enter, 1 man leaves” type things.

        • Lawdog1521

          How many people die in a ring a year compared to in the oil business?

    • earlsimmons

      I agree, my father and grandfather are both cops in a bad neighborhood getting worse. Rhonda is saying that her job is more dangerous than that.
      HAHAHAHAHAHA what a joke.

  • Sense

    “Until people start killing eachother in the octagon”… I don’t see anyone volunteering to be the first just to justify the risk of their profession to the public at large.

  • Rezsurfer

    cant stand this botch but for once.. i agree and she makes sense finally

  • Floyd Wilcox

    St Pierre was a great champion love him or hate him. I hate the way we celebrate a public figure on their rise to the top and once they get there we want to shoot them down. St Pierre fought everyone put in front of him and won. He’s suffered some defeats but has always come back to avenge them. That’s what a champion does In my opinion. A true champ is defined either when truly tested or after he or she has lost. He was getting his ass handed to him by Hendricks and found a way to win the fight. I don’t think he got paid enough to be honest. I would have liked to have seen a rematch with Hendricks but hey, it is what it is. I have a feeling that he is going to go take a break and enjoy the fruits of his labor and then come back to reclaim the title. Either way he had an outstanding career and I don’t have one negative thing to say about the man.

  • peaceoutchump

    the only reason that GSP broke that record is because he just laid on everyone that stepped in the cage with him. happy he is gone never bought a ppv he was on. nobody likes to watch another man dry hump another man for 25 minutes.

    • Obi-Wan Granoli

      Well apparently the other fighters he “laid” on were not good enough to get him off and win. So, tired of the stupid shit. If he wants to take some time off or even retire then he can do so, anyone can. Great fighter.

  • Rum Runner

    I think she blows up her “magnanimous” job a bit too much. I don’t like how she belittles the “little” people and their desk jobs. A lot of people bust their hump providing for there family doing the grind. And I know many fighters are lazy video game playing kids. Do they work hard and bust their butt in the gym-yes. Is there an inordinate amount of stress fighting only a couple times a year and when you lose you have to live with that loss for months before redeeming it- Yes. But, don’t play down what “regular folks” do for a living to prop yourself up.

    • Scotty_O

      lol our biggest daily problem is “getting out lattes wrong” or “losing our jobs”. Well yeah, losing your job is a pretty big deal actually. And as for getting our lattes wrong, suck on my balls you condescending weirdo. She has no place being mentioned with names like GSP, Silva and Bones Jones.

  • Lawdog1521

    None of that is GSP’s problem. The issue is he’s ****ed in the head and has been since Serra beat him. That’s the first time he almost quit and had to see a shrink. That’s when his fight style changed to a more conservative one.

    GSP is terrified of losing. And this last fight brought him closer to it than he’s gotten in a long time and now he wants out.

    I’ve been saying this for 6 years. Serra broke GSP.

    • Leslie Shimabukuro

      GSP has been pretty successful the last six years. I wouldn’t exactly call him broken!

      • Lawdog1521

        If you saw how he fought before compared to over the last six years, he’s broken. This is a man who at one point made Sherk literally cry out in pain.

        Now he can’t even finish Dan Hardy in an arm bar.

    • Rum Runner

      I think it was in his mind to get out before his fight with Hendricks with all that was going on outside the cage in his life. I believe it has more to do with being burned out than scared of losing due to Hendricks. But I guess no one knows but the little man inside GSP’s head.

      • Lawdog1521

        “But I guess no one knows but the little man inside GSP’s head.”

        Like I said, Matt Serra.

        • Rence

          ROFL!!!! That, was brilliant!


        • Mma perry

          Serra broke him?
          Did you watch their second fight? GSP broke the man that you think broke him. You can’t break someone when you’re broken, especially the man that supposedly have “broken” you.
          Think about it!

          • Lawdog1521

            GSP hasn’t fought with fire since that fight. He went all out because he knew if he didn’t Serra would beat him again.

            Everyone since then he’s been so afraid of losing he won’t do anything that would remotely risk losing once he’s ahead in the fight.

            You can deny it all you want but look at his stats. The front half of his career is loaded with stoppages. After Serra… nothing.

            Let’s not forget GSP openly said that fight ****ed his head up and he had to see a sports psychologist over it.

          • Mma perry

            The stats only shows me that he has been undefeated ever since the Serra lost. I hardly call that “broken”. It shows that he has become a smarter athlete of the sport. Remember, this is a still a sport that is based on your win/loss record and “your only as good as your last fight” mentality. Particularly to a champion like GSP who has has been a champ for so long.
            Just like in any other sport, team or individual sports, any lost you will learn from and makes you wiser in handling your opponent. This doesn’t mean that you have “lost” your fire or now afraid to compete.
            As far as seeing a psychologist to handle a lost, this sport solely burdens that individual fighter. It’s an individual sport not a team one. Teams have their mates to comfort, rely, debrief with each other and strengthen one another. There is nothing wrong in helping you find solace or guidance from a professional personnel, especially if the onus falls completely on that one athlete.

          • Lawdog1521

            Silva had his title longer and his stats were stellar. Aldo has better stats and has been around as long. Jones is on track for a record run and finishes most fights.

            If winning is everything why don’t football teams kick every time in field goal range. Why? Because kicking isn’t exciting. Neither is GSP when he’s trying to win on points.

            If winning was everything, why does Diaz draw the same PPV numbers when he fights? That’s right, love him or hate him, he isn’t boring.

          • Mma perry

            Those champs are awesome, but they don’t hold the same depth and quality of a division as the welterweight. It’s the most stacked talent there is in UFC.
            Football and MMA? Apples and oranges. Irrelevant point.
            GSP is the UFC’s highest draw and attraction for their PPV events. How is that even remotely boring for the fans? He wins and dominates fights, technically and with talent. A true mma artist or even a fan can appreciate what he does in the octagon.
            You are equating excitement to recklessness. It’s like a person who drives on the street like a demon who finally gets to an accident, and only then that person becomes wiser the next time he gets behind the wheel. GSP has become that wise athlete and his record speaks volume. Aside from Hardy, all his opponents have been all tough, including a stoppage on Penn. Again, this division is the toughest in the UFC.
            Like him or hate him, your comment on him being “broken” is the most absurd thing I’ve heard. You can’t deny the guy’s record. He is your ww division champ.

          • Scoty_O

            If a field goal gives a football team the win, then they’ll pick field goal EVERY TIME man. lol what are you talking about?

            ” We could have won with the feild goal, but instead we went for a 4th and inches just because it’s exciting ” – Said no NFL coach ever!!

    • bobshell

      You assume so much thing…Ridiculous!

    • Austin, TX

      GSP was actually thinking of retiring before the Condit fight dude. If he broke him then why did he tko him in their next fight? Why did he stop bj penn? why did he go on and win the next 500 freakin fights dude? Thats not broken. Think about it. Broken? Thats dumb dude. He wasn’t broken. If he’s broken then why dod he put together the most wins inside the octagon? Broken fighters don’t put together records for time spent in the ring and record number of wins. Think about it.

  • Mr Pete

    i dont understand what the Big Deal is, the media and the “fans” are essentially saying they have never ever quite/resign from a job due to whatever reason? If you worked a Job for 10 yrs and decided you needed a change in direction, who the heck has the right to tell you that you cant? On top of that, MMA is not a normal job, Pride and Glory is great but how many times can you get Punched in the face and Kicked in the ribs and shake it off? There is a reason why NFL Players wear down almost exactly near 30, every single one of them. Contact Athletes takes a beating

  • David VanBogelen

    If you’re a champion you fight until you aren’t a champion anymore. You don’t just give up the title and walk away. Everyone has problems. Soldiers put their lives on the line every day, fighters put their health on the line maybe three times a year tops. I’ve had more damage done to me in bar fights. He’s made his money off the fans who pay to see him perform and now he’s just taking his money and his ball and going home. No respect.

    • MMAFAN

      He’ll always be a Champion, belt or no belt. And who are you to say a single thing about what a Champion should do. Stick to your bar fights and being a D-BAG.

      10 bucks says you’re a narrow minded American.

      USA! USA!

      • The guest of guests

        I agree with the first part, too bad you finished with a narrow-minded comment. As for David VanBogelen, pretty simple. You say he has no respect? That’s a pretty selfish/disrespectful thing for you to say. You’ve taken more damage in bar fights? Do you train every day of the week tearing your body apart with the variety of things they do? You have no idea what it’s like to have to live that life, nor do I. It’s a common courtesy to respect someone’s right to do what they wish if they feel it’s the right thing to do, and don’t respond with some over-exaggerated absurd scenario. Georges has accomplished plenty in this sport and the only thing he owes to anyone is peace of mind to himself.

  • SoftChin

    GSP has put in his time in at the gym and the Octagon for many years and served as a greatly entertaining athlete for many years in the UFC. He deserves a break but regardless of whatever “outside the octagon” life situations, deciding to do it in the aftermath of a questionable fight decision in his favor is bad timing. Hendricks is the next generation of UFC champ in the division so I see this unfolding as a certainly a less than marketable transition for that division. When Chuck Liddel was dethroned, it was clear that a new generation of LHW champs/contenders were ready and the transition played out well. Regarding Ronda’s comments, it’s a bit weak to attack the regular 9-5er when ideally a fighter’s is doing what he or she loves on a daily basis. It might be a stronger argument if she were speaking on behalf of the fighters who have been fighting on under cards for years making 4-8K per fight while having to contend with families, training on future fight earnings, and risking lengthy post fight suspensions that keep them from getting back into the octagon for their next payday.

  • yup

    Ronda doesn’t understand reality. My biggest worry at work is not getting my late wrong, far from it. Stupid rich athletes will never understand, they’re not part of the real world. Shut up, don’t tell me that she puts her “life on the line”, if you believe that, you’re part of the problem. She chose this profession, just like i choose mine. I don’t want to hear her whine anymore than she wants to hear me whine. How about some cheese Ronda.

    • MMAfan

      You’re an idiot, people have died from fighting in MMA. So you can say she does put her “life on the line” everytime she fights. She probably spends 60-80 hours a week training day in day out with or without injury’s or illness, if you get sick you call into work you miss a few days big whoop, she calls in sick and misses a fight she doesn’t get paid for months how about that for your “stupid rich athletes” you’re ignorance bothers me very much, good day sir.

      • Danny Cleary

        Has a woman ever died from any form of combat sports?

        • Redyetti

          Yes, a boxer in 2005.

  • dgs

    In general, professional athletes garner zero sympathy from me when it comes to the dangers of their profession compared to the working stiff. Most professional athletes are paid such ridiculous sums of money, that for just one of their paychecks, most people in the world would put themselves at great physical risk to earn (forget about the ridiculous multimillion dollar contracts these pros routinely sign). Even rookie pro athletes sign low six figure contracts at a minimum, which is far more money a year than most people will ever make in their lifetime (in a year that is).

    However with MMA, it’s a bit different. Certainly athletes at the level of a GSP don’t have to worry about money, but for many who are not at that level, the pay is pretty bad, and the risk is extremely high. I would rather take my chances in Vegas at the blackjack tables than try and be a six figure a year pro fighter. I guess it’s one reason I have so much respect for them, because I know just how physically demanding it is and how dangerous it is (I’ve trained in various arts for over 20 years, MMA for about eight now).

    • Sumbum

      The problem with your statement is a lot of these guys made crap until they achieved the level to be able to bring in the big paychecks. So to say that most people would put themselves in great physical harm to get just one of their paychecks is total B.S. Simply because none of these “regular” folks would go through the trial of fire to even get themselves in the position to make the big money.

      • dgs

        I think there is a reading comprehension problem here. I’m not talking about MMA when I’m talking about big paychecks. I’m talking about pro athletes in other sports, you know, like baseball, football, basketball etc. Those guys go straight from college and into the pro’s with at minimum a six figure contract.

        How many people do you know who graduate from college and step into their first post college job making six figures, yeah, exactly, no one! (especially in today’s world, where college grads can’t even get a job, forget about one paying six figures).

        • Sumbum

          I actually know quite a few people that make six figures right out of college. STEM careers, look it up. You know, people that work their butts off, make sacrifices and don’t have to dream about what it is like to make a lot of money.

          • dgs

            Oh boy, you sound young and dumb. Probably a college student enrolled in some STEM major that you think is going to earn you big $$$ when you graduate. Here’s the reality Sherlock, those types of jobs have been and will continue to be off-shored in droves. The positions that aren’t off-shored will be given to H1B visa holders. The rest will be given to young, eager college grads who will work for cheap.

            Let me tell you something pal, if hard work was all that was necessary to make “a lot of money,” there would be many more millionaires in the world, including myself (being self-employed is a joy I will never give up, even though it’s a lot of hard work and long, long hours). As a matter of fact, those STEM graduates who are lucky enough to get a job that hasn’t been sent overseas or given to one of their H1B visa counterparts, will have to get used to working VERY hard, LONG hours (between 70 to 90 hours a week) for their relatively puny salary (between $50,000 to $70,000 depending on GPA, and institution graduated from).

          • Sumbum

            So bitter. Yes stem grads can make over $100k out of scool, I know I am one of them and I routinely hire many of them. H1B is used to bring more people in from thise fields since there is a shortage of them. But hey keep convincing yourself otherwise, tgis way you can justify why you make so little.

          • dgs

            You are so full of sh!it it’s not even funny. I HIGHLY doubt you’re in capacity to be responsible for new hires for one.

            For two, unless the company you work for hires MIT grads, paying over $100K for college grads is beyond assine and not very good business sense.

            Third, as far as what I make, well I don’t ever remember mentioning what I make. I told you I wasn’t a millionaire, but I make a VERY comfortable living running a accounting/Access/SQL database development consultancy. That’s all I’ll say about that, as my finances are none of your business.

            Lastly, I think it’s you who are fooling yourself. Go do some research about STEM careers and what the median (or average if you prefer) salary for a STEM graduate in this market is. Here’s a hint, it’s a good bit less than $100K, that I can guarantee you. And anyone claiming they need to hire H1B’s because of a lack of qualified candidates is full of sh!t. I heard that excuse during the tech recession of 2000-2001, when I got laid off from my database development gig and replaced by an H1B making less than half of what I was making. That line about not enough candidates is just an excuse companies can use to hire super cheap labor, no different than the outsourcing of millions of STEM/call-center jobs to Asia and Africa. You better pray your job isn’t outsourced next. I would NEVER work in a STEM career working for someone else, where you are constantly at the whim of expense cutting accountants (actually why I became an accountant, because I wanted to be the one to make the budget based decisions, instead of being the one on the short of end of the budget decision stick).

            Okay, I’m done with this discussion, this is an MMA board, not a job board, way off track!