Home News MMA The UFC Needs Georges St-Pierre To Return

The UFC Needs Georges St-Pierre To Return

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The UFC and MMA need a hero. It needs Georges St-Pierre to return.

The UFC and MMA are badly in need of mainstream stars.

UFC pound-for-pound great Jon Jones regularly gets booed out of buildings. A few years ago he was arrested for drunken driving. Last time he appeared in public he brawled on stage with his future opponent, Daniel Cormier. He then proceeded to bully Cormier, accusing him of being pregnant.

UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is a great fighter, but he’s quiet and not exactly lighting up the sports mainstream. Same goes for Chris Weidman. Weidman upset Anderson Silva twice, but he still has a relatively low profile in mainstream culture. Same goes for UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.

Other champs Anthony Pettis, Jose Aldo, TJ Dillashaw and Demetrious Johnson are all excellent fighters, but not really known outside of MMA.

The most famous fighter in the world right now is Ronda Rousey, the UFC women’s bantamweight champion. Rousey, of course, is a huge mainstream name. The UFC can thank Strikeforce and Scott Coker, the current president of Bellator, for Rousey. Strikeforce gave Rousey and women’s MMA a chance at a time when the UFC wanted nothing to do with women’s MMA.

But Rousey too gets booed out of live events. After her appearance on The Ultimate Fighter, and her refusal to shake Miesha Tate’s hand after submitting her twice in two years, she’s not the most popular MMA fighter out there.

That’s why GSP needs to return.

It’s been 10 months since GSP defeated Hendricks in a controversial decision.

And then GSP walked away.  Think about that. GSP walked away from the bright lights of the UFC at the age of 32, after 12 straight victories.

GSP was at the top of the sport, making probably more than $1 million per fight.

What drove him away? GSP said he needed to deal with some personal issues. He was probably burnt out on fighting at such a high level for so long.

But MMA lost a lot when he walked away. It lost not only a well-conditioned, excellent fighter, but a true super hero of the sport, a man whom fans and fighters loved.

If the UFC is to ever get over the hump, and gain widespread acceptance in popular culture, let alone sanctioned in New York, it will need a hero like GSP to carry the sport on its back.

UFC President Dana White should do whatever he can to bring GSP back. He’s 33, and his skills are only going to deteriorate with age. One of the greatest fighters and role models for the sport is sitting it out and that’s not doing anyone in the UFC or MMA any good.

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Joshua Molina
Joshua Molina is an award-winning journalist who has worked for a variety of media publications, including the San Jose Mercury News, where he covered San Jose City Hall. Molina has covered MMA since 2007 and previously worked for Strikeforce as a staff writer. Molina enjoys reporting and blogging about MMA and pro wrestling, and often the convergence of the two.
  • mmaohio33

    This article was ridiculous and you should be embarrassed as a person who writes about MMA. What your saying makes no sense. You would rather see a name than good fighters like Cain. GET had boring fights the UFC would be the same with or with out him.

    • Cain is good so is Jones… but you can’t hang your had on just those two (plus Rousey). The UFC does need someone like a GSP, even if it isn’t GSP himself. Another good alternative from a pure character marketing standpoint would have been Lyoto Machida, but he’s also creeping past his prime as a fighter. He has his moments but not enough to really say you can always count on an exciting fight with him. GSP may not be the answer, maybe not anymore, but in spirit he is still held in high regard, and you can’t possibly disagree that a PPV event with him headlining against who ever the interim champion is wouldn’t bring in huge numbers. Think Condit v GSP. The question is whether or not he has any interest in ever coming back to the cage.

      • Just to add to that, Uriah Faber also comes to mind. Very marketable fighter. Technically he hasn’t left but he hasn’t made headlines either.

    • robert marin

      you are an idiot

    • robert marin

      Gsp was not only one of the greatest fighters but also one of the classiest people the UFC will ever have…No one in their right mind could deny it.

  • Edward Stamos

    I would agree here with the Author of the artical, UFC does need a fighter like GSP. GSP has already went to great lengths to bringing the UFC to another level. We should be honored to live in a time that we got to watch one of the greatest, if not the greatest fighter ever.

  • thescoots

    we are seeing the new breed of UFC fighters who are developing top level skills much broader and faster than the old breed, like GSP or a Machida. The difference I see is that the training and conditioning programs are much more sophisticated and advanced than they used to be.

    Both Machida and GSP took a beating in their last fight…they got really busted up. Both are in their 30s….where bouncing back is much more difficult. They are high mileage fighters. Another example would be Shogun, to a greater extent.

    GSP could regain his title..but the price he would pay in the cage may be a permanent one. He should stay retired….nothing left to prove and with his remaining health to preserve.