Former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre has fought only one time in the past six and a half years, that being a return to take the middleweight strap from Michael Bisping.
Prior to that, it appeared that St-Pierre would likely never fight again. After all, he spent nearly four years on the sidelines before returning to the Octagon. It was simply a challenge that St-Pierre couldn’t refuse.
After dominating early in his career in Canada, St-Pierre made his way in the UFC as a welterweight, quickly rising to the upper echelon of the division. He first fought for the 170-pound title just three fights into his UFC tenure.
He lost that bout, but went on a five-fight winning streak that included returning to fight Hughes again, this time taking the belt from him.
Just one fight after winning the championship, St-Pierre lost the belt to Matt Serra in one of the greatest upsets in UFC history.
That loss was a defining moment in St-Pierre’s career. He learned from it and never lost again. He fought 13 more times, including the return to take the belt from Bisping, rolling over almost everyone he faced.
St-Pierre came close to returning to the Octagon after defeating Bisping, trying to line up a bout with current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. St-Pierre wanted the fight, Nurmagomedov wanted it, but the UFC had other plans for its first Muslim champion.
Though he never retired the first time he stepped away from the Octagon, when things didn’t go as hoped in lining up the fight with Nurmagomedov, St-Pierre announced his official retirement on Feb. 21, 2019, at a press conference at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
He hasn’t wavered on that retirement, frequently saying the door is cracked open, but that it would take something extra special to bring him back to the cage.
St-Pierre spoke at length in a special ESPN interview on Monday, recounting his career, addressing his retirement, and talking about his life outside of the cage.
(Video courtesy of ESPN MMA)