Georges St. Pierre remains the gold standard by which all welterweights are compared in mixed martial arts.
So when Kamaru Usman surpassed the former champion’s record for most consecutive wins at 170 pounds on Saturday not, it was only natural that talk turned to how the current title holder might fare against the division’s GOAT. Usman, for one, said he would welcome the challenge.
“Of course, I would like Georges. But I don’t want Georges because of money or anything like that. Like I said, I’m a competitor. I want Georges because Georges left on top. Georges can still do it. I see him training. Georges, I’m watching you. I see you training. Georges can still do it.
“So, if there’s potential for that big fight and Georges wants to come back, then of course, Georges can cut the line, absolutely.”
However, St. Pierre’s interest in such a pairing doesn’t seem to be high at the moment. The Canadian discussed the possibility during an appearance on SN590’s "The Good Show.”
“To go back and give three months of my life in a training camp to get a win over Kamaru Usman doesn’t get me motivated,” St. Pierre said. “I don’t think there’s anything that would get me motivated to go back to competition now. I’m not sure.”
St. Pierre hasn’t fought since defeating Michael Bisping for the middleweight crown at UFC 217 in November 2017. He officially announced his retirement in 2019, revealing that negotiations for a clash with lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov fell through. The two stars have continued to be linked, even after Nurmagomedov annnounced his own retirement last year, but thus far nothing has come to fruition.
While St. Pierre admits that he’ll always continue training, the prospect of beginning the grind of a full training camp for a fight against someone such as Usman just isn’t appealing.
“Try to put yourself in my shoes and try to come back,” St. Pierre said. “First, if I come back to fight Kamaru Usman, I would literally have to leave the country. I would have to bring my coaches somewhere, find a base camp, fly in training partners to get ready for Usman. But leaving my home, I don’t want to do it. I’m healthy. I’m wealthy. It’s not appealing to me to lose three months of my life, the stress, to try and get a win over Usman. As time passed by, it’s getting less and less appealing. And I don’t think there’s anybody now that would make me come back. I’m good. I will always train and be in shape.”
St. Pierre, who turns 40 in May, is also smart enough to realize that his prime years are in the past. As it stands, he doesn’t see anything special enough to lure him back into the Octagon — and that includes a date with Usman. St. Pierre would prefer to keep his legacy intact rather than compete at something less than the peak of his powers.
“It seems like people want to see me go on my shield,” St Pierre said. “A lot of guys wait too long to retire and they kind of go on their shield, and I never wanted to do this. I wanted to compete at my best and now I’m at the point, are my best years behind me? They could be. I said to myself I don’t want to compete if my best years are behind me. Your knowledge grows, but your physicality is diminished.
“I’m 39 – going to be 40 soon. If I would have done something, it would have needed to be something that was really special that would really get me to the core of my motivation. I don’t have the same motivation right now. It’s not appealing to me. I’m a big fan. I like to watch fights. But I look at them with the stress and I’m like, ‘Hell no. I’m not doing it.’”