How many times have you said to yourself, or overheard someone else say, “Yeah, if I was getting paid what that guy gets paid, I could do what he’s doing. No problem. Just show me the money!”
But if you sit back and think about, would you really live up to your end of that bargain?
When he did, many of the comments were made across social media that he was scared to step into the Octagon again with Johny Hendricks, who many people thought won their main event fight at UFC 167 in November. Many of the comments were to the effect: Man, what a wimp. I wouldn’t walk away like that, not with the kind of money he’s getting paid. GSP should step up and give Hendricks his rematch.
At the end of the day though, there are few people in the world that would actually commit to the time, effort, and dedication it takes to become an athlete the level of a Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, or Ronda Rousey.
There are even fewer who would be willing to step into the Octagon, get punched repeatedly in the face, and punch someone else back, and then navigate the firestorm of criticism and invasion of privacy that comes with such celebrity.
UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was tossed head-first into the public blender when she entered the UFC. The mixer has only increased in speed since her time on The Ultimate Fighter and her rematch with Miesha Tate pending.
She is one of the few people in the world that has accepted the commitment and pressures that drove St-Pierre to step away. She is also one of a minority that has an intricate understanding of the emotion that runs through St-Pierre’s veins.
“We’re not really doing 9-to-5s and sitting down in a cubicle. If you fight for a living, you’re fighting for your life every time you go in there,” Rousey said during a recent UFC 168 media conference call. “It’s a stressful situation if you think about it. The worst thing that could happen in your day isn’t that someone will get your latte wrong or that you might get fired. It’s that you could really get physically harmed. Not just that, but your pride could get irreparably harmed as well, and that’s a lot of stress that you face time and time again.
“It’s so much that you really have to have a real love and desire for what you do,” she continued. “You can’t really fight and put your life on the line for anyone other than yourself. And every single time a new fight comes along you need to ask yourself whether you still want that.”
Beyond the pressures of the fight itself, Rousey also has a take on why now was the time for St-Pierre to hang up the gloves, if only temporarily.
“You have to think that Georges had just passed the record for the most time ever spent in the octagon, like actual time,” said Rousey.
St-Pierre has amassed five hours, 28 minutes, and 12 seconds of fight time in the Octagon. Of course, that is spread out over the course of several years, but it’s still a lot of stressful time wondering if you’re going to land the knockout blow or if your opponent will get the job done.
“So, you just broke a record. No one else has spent that much time in the Octagon as him ever before,” Rousey continued. “Can you really blame him for really feeling like he was done, because no one else had reached that point yet.
“I don’t think that it’s totally reasonable to expect him to do more. If he wanted to do more, that’s awesome. Break that record even more. But if he feels like he’s done, than that’s fine, man. Be done. Go rest. You deserve it. You don’t have to risk your life for anyone.”
(Follow @KenPishna on Twitter)