UFC Hall of Famer Georges St-Pierre is one of the lucky ones. The Canadian superstar enjoyed a remarkable career that took him all the way to the top of the UFC, earning him the adoration of fans around the world. But, for all of his successes inside the cage, arguably the decision that left the biggest legacy on St-Pierre himself was the timing of his decision to retire from the sport.
Current Karate Combat season sensei St-Pierre walked away from the UFC still very much in his prime, with many suggesting that he had called time on his fighting career too early. But, in conversation with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, St-Pierre said that any concerns about him missing out on a few more big paydays inside the cage were misplaced.
Speaking about the issue of retirement from fighting, St-Pierre shared his take on the timing of his retirement, and offered some advice and insight for his fellow fighters who may be approaching that stage in their careers.
“Yeah, it’s unfortunate. Most fighters don’t retire from the sport, they let the sport retire them,” he said.
“It’s very unfortunate because I think there’s two components.
“On the health standpoint, I think health is the most important thing, I think you should make your money and when it’s time to when you’re past your prime, just leave leave on top of your game.
“Of course, you’ll have the feeling that you might have left some money on the table like I did – I think I might have left some money on the table. But I know I left on top of my game and my health is 100% now.
“Also, on the business side of things when you leave on top of your game, another world opens up to you. It opens doors for different business, different promotions, acting, different sponsorships. If you leave the sport when you’re on the way down, now these doors are closed.
“So it’s not a good idea, guys. Maybe you will feel like you leave money on the table sometimes. But, in the long term – not only health-wise, even business-wise – you’ll make that money back and even more.”
Photo credit: Karate Combat