UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre is back. And luckily for his faithful fans, he has a new fire under him.
St-Pierre said on Wednesday that he found a new appreciation for every day he lives and trains. The sport of mixed martial arts was wearing on him prior to the lead-up for his UFC 154 bout with interim champion Carlos Condit, but, according to him, he is rejuvenated.
"I found a new fire that I didn't have before," St-Pierre said at the UFC 154 pre-fight news conference. "I appreciate what I have more."
Before, the 31-year-old fighter would gripe about his tasks involving preparation for his fights. Interviews, training away from home and fighting on the big stage were all things he'd roll his eyes about.
The cause, according to the 170-pound champ, was training too hard. But it wasn't only his body that was giving out on him; it was his mind.
"I was overtraining," he said, reflecting on his past fight camps. "And overtraining … not only physically, [but] mentally."
Traveling far distances to complete his training camps wore on St-Pierre. Preparing near home, he discovered, is a lot easier. By opting to bring in help from the outside, as opposed to flying to various gyms to prepare for fights, GSP appears more relaxed, and his rediscovered grin reflects that.
"I'm happy to be here, I have a smile on my face," St-Pierre said. "You used to see me before a fight … I was tired and I wanted to get to the end right away."
GSP pointed to his last outing, a unanimous decision win over Jake Shields at UFC 129 in April 2011, as the best example of how charred his mind and body were. It was a low point in his career, despite it being the sixth consecutive time he defended his title.
"My last fight was my worst fight," he said. "I was kind of burned out, mentally and physically."
But things have changed, according to the Canadian superstar. His time preparing for Condit has been done at Tristar Gym in Montreal near his home, which has helped his mental edge. His physical wellness is on par, too. The champ said a lot of his focus as been on the recuperation of his knee that kept him out of fighting for so long.
In reference to Saturday's title unification bout with Condit, GSP said he's fighting to regain the No. 1 spot in the world at welterweight. Will he be nervous? As he poetically said at the news conference, "For sure I will have butterflies, but the key is to make those butterflies fly in formation."
UFC 154 takes place Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Erik Fontanez is an MMA writer and reporter for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow Erik on Twitter at @Erik_Fontanez
- Mixed Martial Arts
- Martial Arts
- Carlos Condit