George St. Pierre fires back at Dana White for questioning his desire to be a championship-level fighter, says he needs to fight to be at peace (w/Keller’s Analysis)

By Wade Keller, MMATorch editor

George St. Pierre (photo from FS1's UFC Tonight)

George St-Pierre fired back against Dana White, who has questioned GSP’s desire to be a championship-level fighter again.

“He doesn’t know anything about me,” he said on a recent episode of UFC Tonight on FS1. “I’m a smart person. Let me fight once and you’ll see in the first minute of the first fight it’s all wrong. Let me fight Tyron Woodley and he’ll see. I’m not angry at him. It’s like a game. Let me fight once and you’ll see in first minute.”

If he does fight in UFC again, he can either aim for a championship or aim for so-called superfights that fans want to see and maybe are more attractive to him. GSP addressed that choice. “I’ve had the title before. I want to fight the big name,” he said. “The guy who’s champion is not necessarily the best guy. I want to fight the guy people want me to fight, the biggest draw.”

GSP also isn’t worried about a bruised ego if he returns and it turns out he’s not an elite level fighter anymore compared to the current competition. What he fears more is regretting not fighting again because he didn’t want to take that chance. “Why would I not come back?” he said. “Now I feel like I’m at the top of my game. I’m back. I don’t want to end up at 60 and wonder. If I come back and get knocked out, I won’t feel bad because I’d know. I know I’ll be at my best and be able to die in peace because I would have no regret. The things I regret most are the things I didn’t do.”

Keller’s Analysis: To me, this seems like the perfect attitude. Some athletes would never want to risk their reputation if they were able to leave on a high note. There is such a thing, of course, as hanging on too long and having a dismal record in your last few years in the sport (Dan Henderson may be entering that territory, for instance). But if GSP truly believes he has a desire to fight again, not just to collect a paycheck or because he can’t fathom life without fighting, then more power to him even if that does mean he takes a few losses as he finds out his age and the level of competition has caught up with him or surpassed him. There are some really intriguing fights waiting for him that fans want to see, so if he’s game, why not? Whether that means a title fight or just the most intriguing fights regardless of the title situation, that is just fine. He has reached a status where a title fight would be interesting, but not essential to any fight he has at this point being a big draw.

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