It has been just around two years since the fans were last able to watch you in action. Your fights were not always the most exciting. Often, your opponent seemed quite overmatched when the cage door closed. So, after defeating Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 — narrowly, I may add — you decided it was time to hang up the gloves for good. Or did you? It seems that every day someone has a report that says you’re on your way back. Sometimes, it’s comes straight from the source, you, the former champion. As dominant as you were, I feel that a comeback is not something you need to or should be considering, and here is why.
You, Georges St-Pierre, first captured the UFC welterweight crown back in 2006, defeating the reigning champion of the time, future UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes. You would end up losing the title in your first defense in what is still considered to be one of the greatest upsets of all time courtesy of Matt Serra at UFC 69 in 2007. That was the last fight that you lost.
You would go on to defeat Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughes a second time and earned a rematch and shot at UFC gold at UFC 83 against Serra. You dominated the fight and reclaimed what was once yours. That is when it began — the talk of GSP as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters.
Consider this: you defended your title against Jon Fitch, B.J. Penn, Thiago Alves, Dan Hardy, Koscheck, Jake Shields, Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz and, finally, the aforementioned Hendricks. You became the most dominant champion in UFC welterweight history. The only negative that came from this run was the fact that of your nine title defenses, not counting his first loss against Serra, only one of the fights did not go to the judges’ scorecards (Penn’s corner threw in the towel at UFC 94 in 2009).
Since your departure, the UFC welterweight crown has changed hands twice. It went from Hendricks to current champ “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler. The last three welterweight title fights, especially the most recent bloodbath that was Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald II, have been some of the most exciting battles that the division has ever produced. These are fights that bring in the fans. These are the wars that force fans out of their seats to stand and yell, unable to contain themselves or help but gasp at what is going on. This is what the division needs.
I will say that I take nothing away from you, GSP. I still consider you to be one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters that MMA has ever seen. That is why I think you should stay away for good. I think coming back would possibly tarnish your legacy.
I don’t think you have anything to prove to yourself or the fans. You took out each challenger pretty handily. While it they not have been the most exciting of fights, they always ended with you getting your hand raised. But with that being said, the welterweight division is wide open right now. It’s full of challengers chomping at the bit.
So this is what I have to say to you, GSP, and I truly hope that you will listen. Enjoy your life. Help train the up-and-coming fighters that come into your gym. You did something very few fighters are able to say that they have accomplished, if any at all. You went out on top.
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