When 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.