ADDED 11:01AM Oct 20, 2010 by wallyz
There have been some rumors and stories over the last few months in the world of MMA about Georges St-Pierre deciding that he may be close to retirement.
Now, there are a lot of fans of MMA and more specifically the UFC who hope these are in fact only rumors. And I’d venture to guess that UFC President Dana White is also hoping that St-Pierre doesn’t hang up his shorts just yet.
St-Pierre is arguably the sport’s biggest star. He is recognizable by fans and non-fans alike. He has a Gatorade marketing contract. He is featured prominently in the UFC video game commercials. He is rocks his Under Armor for a large sum of money. Has a deal in place with Affliction Clothing. And he sells tickets.
Other things to keep in mind when looking into this story include St-Pierre’s age, passion, talent and money.
First, let’s look at his age. Georges doesn’t turn 30 until May 19, 2011 and in terms of MMA and the UFC that’s not too old to be competitive and dominant. You need only look at Chuck Liddell (40), Randy Couture (47), Anderson Silva (35) and Fedor Emelianenko (33) to see that it’s possible to continue fighting well past 30 and not lose your edge.
Note: I know that Liddell is finished and Couture isn’t the fighter that he once was, but they weren’t done at 30.
Georges St-Pierre has every opportunity to continue topping people’s Welterweight and Pound-for-Pound rankings for at least the next 5 years. And I’d like to see him stay because while he may have beaten everyone placed before him so far, MMA is only gaining popularity and who knows what fighters will be around to challenge him by 2015.
The second factor is passion. It’s been well reported and evident that St-Pierre loves to win and loves to fight. I truly believe that he loves being a star. And winning and competing will keep him in the spotlight. I can’t see Georges walking away from the sport that has made him a household name and an A list celebrity.
Next we get to talent. As I mentioned, St-Pierre is currently the Welterweight Champion in the UFC and tops the list in that division talent wise. He is also at the top of many Pound-for-Pound lists made by fans, bloggers and journalists. There are a few people that will argue that ranking, but most of the lists I have seen have him at the top with very few disagreements by way of reader comments. I know that Fedor Emelianenko gets some press as the #1 Pound-for-Pound guy. But I’m not sold on the talent he has faced.
The last thing on my little list is money. I touched on some of the sponsorship deals that Georges St-Pierre has including Under Armor, Gatorade and Affliction Clothing. He makes a lot of money in those deals, just like many other professional athletes do. And the information I’ve found says that St-Pierre makes upwards of $70,000 per fight with the opportunity to make another $70,000+ in bonuses. That would be a lot of money for this guy to walk away from.
In the end I really don’t see Georges St-Pierre walking away from the world of MMA or the UFC any time soon. Someday his time will come, he’ll lose a step and he won’t be at the top of the lists anymore. But for now it would be a huge shock and a big disappointment to a lot of people if he were to walk away and retire.
Note: St-Pierre will take on Josh Koscheck at UFC 124 on December 11, 2010 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.