'The best ever': MMA community salutes icon Georges St-Pierre ahead of impending retirement
While a formal statement from St-Pierre won't arrive until Thursday's press conference, a host of well-known names within MMA have sounded their appreciation for a fighter who will walk away from the sport with far more friends than foes, including one of the sports most famous faces.Also on rt.com Georges St-Pierre set to announce retirement following failure to secure Khabib Nurmagomedov bout
Per reports, the failure to arrange a match-up with Khabib Nurmagomedov appears to be the impetus for St-Pierre, 37, making the decision to cut short a combat career which saw him win world titles in two separate weight divisions.
His influence on the sport will endure long after he is gone, however. The standard-bearer, perhaps indefinitely, for what it takes to succeed in a sports as ferocious as MMA, St-Pierre has been heralded for his achievements by all corners of the sport.
In addition, the latest post of St-Pierre's Twitter profile from Tuesday appears to foreshadow the news of his retirement, as it shows him with longtime coach Firas Zahabi along with the text: "We remain undefeated together."
GSP beat the cream of three full generations in the then-deepest division in the sport, redefined the business side of MMA, and always got his financial worth from one of the stingiest companies in sports. A legend who deserves more credit than he could ever receive. https://t.co/boHU6EV7Lk— Patrick Wyman (@Patrick_Wyman) February 20, 2019
If GSP is retiring due to not being able to fight Khabib, it shows just how important his legacy is to him.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) February 20, 2019
There is not another fight that would enhance his legacy beyond where it is now.
A win over Khabib would cement him as the best ever, but he quite possibly already is.
GSP to retire Thursday, per this report. Geroges tops any list of the best mixed martial artists, and his legacy is far more important than that. Tremendous athlete, sportsman and businessman. MMA isn't the same without GSP's influence. https://t.co/L6thS0ZCMf— Josh Gross (@yay_yee) February 20, 2019
Come on, UFC... GSP x Khabib for the inaugural 165lb championship in. November ... Do it do it do it!— E. Casey Leydon (@ekc) February 20, 2019
However, the news hasn't gone down so well with some members of the UFC roster who are frustrated with Nurmagomedov openly chasing bouts outside of the division in which he is the champion.
Nurmagomedov will almost certainly compete just once this year and, with the list of contenders continuing to expand at the summit of the UFC's 155lb division, two fighters in particular have reacted negatively to the implications of the Russian's perceived reluctance to defend his title - former Khabib opponent Al Iaquinta and one of the current top contenders Dustin Poirier.
🖕— A1 Iaquinta🗽 (@ALIAQUINTA) February 20, 2019
These guys should just release me.— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) February 20, 2019