In a recent interview, Welterweight legend Georges St-Pierre revealed how the UFC has changed.
Over the years, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has transformed radically. At a point in time, it was banned in almost all states. Many even referred to MMA as “human cockfighting”. However, over the years, it gained recognition as a legitimate sport.
In its early days, the company had a small roster with fewer events. But now, it is a billion-dollar industry. Former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion, GSP, explains how things have changed in the company.
With a record of 5-0, Georges St-Pierre made his way into the UFC. After eight fights in the company, he received his first-ever title shot. Although GSP won the title, he lost it in the very next bout. Nonetheless, it was the last defeat on his resume.
Soon after GSP’s controversial win over Johny Hendricks, he went on hiatus. He gave up his title and disappeared from the fight game because of numerous reasons.
Yet, in a shocking announcement, he returned in 2017 to face off against then middleweight champion, Michael Bisping. Although GSP won the match, he realized that certain things had evolved in the company.
In a recent interview with FightHype.com, GSP said:
“Now it’s more like a big corporation. It is a big company,” GSP said. “Before it was more like a family. You could talk to Lorenzo (Fertitta) and the CEO of UFC. Even though you were not a star in the company, you had access. It was like a family company. Now it’s different.”
Furthermore, he said that the UFC has compartmentalized and has a different feel. GSP thinks that there are pros and cons to it, but he is fine with the new structure. Following his departure in 2013, multiple changes were introduced in the UFC. The introduction of USADA and the sale of the company to Endeavor stands out from the rest.
St-Pierre’s last match saw him claim the middleweight gold. Subsequently, he vacated the belt, hence stating his intentions to stay out of the regular competition.
After failing to secure a legacy fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov, ‘Rush’ announced his formal retirement in February 2019.
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