What Drives Georges St-Pierre as He Walks Out to the UFC Octagon? … Fear

May 12, 2013
22 Comments

Georges St-Pierre UFC 111When a UFC champion walks out to the Octagon, especially a fighter like Georges St-Pierre, who is considered among the top pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, what goes through his head?

Thoughts of victory, confidence, and power? Not exactly.

How about feelings of fear?

St-Pierre was a guest on the recent Friday night edition of Inside MMA on AXS TV, hyping up his New York Times Best Seller “The Way of the Fight,” but gave an interesting glimpse into what goes through his mind as he walks out to the Octagon.

“I’m scared,” he revealed. “Before a fight, I doubt about myself. I’m scared.”

Not exactly the sort of positive reinforcement that you’d expect from one of the winningest champions in UFC history.

“I try to be confident, but deep down inside, I’m afraid,” St-Pierre admitted. “I’m afraid to get knocked out, afraid to get humiliated, afraid to have done all that work and put all that effort for nothing, and not be as good as people expect me to be. That’s why I’m afraid.”

No, it’s not the type of fear that kicks the flight portion of fight-or-flight response into action. It’s actually quite the opposite for St-Pierre. It’s not fear of his opponent. It’s not fear that the man standing across from him has done more work to prepare or has the more dominant skills.

It’s actually a fear that kicks in the fight portion of his fight-or-flight response. It’s a motivator.

“It’s not really being afraid of my opponent,” he continued. “I’m afraid of not performing the best as I should. And I think it’s the same fear that keep me sharp, keep my reaction time better, and make me perform better.”

It’s something that St-Pierre talks about in his book, and his driven him to become a two-time UFC welterweight champion.

St-Pierre holds a professional record of 24-2, and is currently on an 11-fight winning streak. He has defended his belt eight consecutive times.

Be sure to Like MMAWeekly.com on Facebook and Follow @MMAWeeklycom on Twitter.

  • Ryan

    Jesus this is the best news you can come out with? I’m sick of these fly by articles

    • Gary Fredericks

      I like articles like this. I had the same feelings going to the ring back when I used to kickbox. I personally wouldn’t characterize an article on what is going through one of the GOAT welterweights mind on the way to the ring as a “fly by articles”. I would call it something quite interesting and am happy MMA Weekly has access to this sort of introspection from a fighter, let alone a fighter as talented and popular as GSP.

      • http://www.MMAWeekly.com/ Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly

        Thanks Gary

      • Ryan

        Access being pulling quotes out of a hat. GSP and his canned answers LOL when did he actually say this? Probably months ago.

        • Ryan

          I just realized that this was said Friday. I guess these canned GSP quotes all blend in. I think you’re doing something wrong when I pay more attention to the comments below than the actual article. LOL

  • Timothy Malone

    I appreciate that MMAWeekly has new articles every single day. I’ve seen other sites that pretty much take the weekend off except for event coverage.

    • http://www.MMAWeekly.com/ Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly

      The pace is unrelenting sometimes, but it’s very much appreciated that you take notice of our efforts. Thanks Timothy!

      • Pizza boy

        Dear mma weekly staff including ken pishna thank you for delivering the best mma material! I strongly believe that this web site does better than websites like sherdog in delivering hi quality mma material. Thanks a lot guys :))

        • http://www.MMAWeekly.com/ Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly

          Thanks

        • urdooomb

          but poorly written compared to sherdog.

          peaked vs piqued…classic!!

      • Ryan

        Why is my comments awaiting moderation KEN? Are you trying to censor people that have an opinion? My comments aren’t even that harsh bro, just because I’m not favoring an article??? Lets keep everything polished eh? FART

        • http://www.MMAWeekly.com/ Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly

          Ryan, I don’t see every comment on the site, and I’m sure some of yours are positive. I wasn’t singling anyone out when responding to Timothy, just saying thanks for his compliment.

          I actually appreciate your comments and others whether or not they are complimentary or critical. Both help shape the content and direction of this site.

          Comments are only held in moderation when there are curse words or outbound links that are flagged and processed by an alert system. It wasn’t because you were critical. I believe your comment just got caught for having a curse word in it.

          Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read the site and comment. It is appreciated.

          • Ryan

            Thanks for the reply, I’ll admit I may have gotten a little carried away here earlier but things were pissing me off on this article. Thanks for filling me in now I’m less angry about the situation. I still do not favor this article though. GSP has been getting under my skin lately also. Being from Canada and watching his whole career he’s just turning into this douche bag for lack of better words and it’s a little hard to swallow when you’re trying to be a fan of his. So that might have fueled my fire a bit as well. Peace

      • Ryan

        Are you saying I don’t take notice to your efforts??? Really???? I have made some really positive comments on this website believe it or not and I do appreciate the effort but this article doesn’t require that sorry if you can’t handle my opinion without crying to someone else about it. Oh and I’ve been loyal to this site for YEARS bud, more than most of these sluggers on here. How about a little respect to your viewer?! The people that keep this site going and making you and your buddies money. Remember that.

  • R

    living in fear, sounds depressing…

    • urdooomb

      not really. Mike Tyson said he was scared up to the time the bell rings. Ronda Rousey recently said the same thing. I am sure even robots like Fedor had A LOT of things in his mind right before the fight.

      Daniel Cormier also recently said that he was soooo nervous in his UFC debut.

      These guys are not necessarily afraid of the opponent. They are afraid of the chance that they may lose the fight for whatever reason.

      • R

        like I said, that sounds terrible.

  • dgs

    Now I understand why GSP developed his boring, play it safe style since being KO’d by Serra. Silly me, he’s not afraid of being KO’d again, he’s just afraid of not performing to his fullest!!

  • toom

    i wouldnt say this is new news he talked about this on prime time every time they had him on there

    • Ryan

      ………Thank you

  • Ryan

    Holy f***** nutt huggers. I would think being a reporter you would want to make a daily pursuit of the top stories. S*** even an interview with any odd MMA fighter is at least swallow able . Instead you make an article about GSP of crap we’ve heard 1000 times. GSP has fear when walking to the octagon?! NOW WAY! Can we get an article about what GSP had for breakfast this morning next? FART

  • Ryan

    Interviews are nice once and a while instead of just pulling quotes.