But UFC Hall of Famer Georges St-Pierre completely understands where his ex-foe is coming from. Ahead of his induction ceremony Thursday, St-Pierre related to what Diaz feels and spoke bluntly on the matter.
“I can relate to that,” St-Pierre said to reporters including MMA Junkie. “I hate fighting as well. I hate it. I did it because I used it as a benchmark to get me to where I want to get to in life. I don’t like fighting. It’s the worst day of my life the day that I fight, but I used that to get me a life because I have the freedom, the health, the fitness, the wealth, the access of things that other people do not have. There’s a lot of good advantages, but you need to pay the price sometimes (or) a few times a year if you want to be a fighter among the elite.”
At UFC 158 in June 2013, St-Pierre successfully defended his welterweight title against Diaz in the pay-per-view main event. The fisticuffs followed months of build-up, which included classic Diaz trash talk. While they’ve never been best friends, St-Pierre voiced respect and hope about Diaz’s upcoming UFC 266 fight vs. Robbie Lawler scheduled for Saturday.
“Would he come back as good as he was or this layoff would it have a significant impact on him? I don’t know,” St-Pierre said. “I just hope that he will come back as good as he (was). I’m afraid he left a lot of money on the table and I hope I’m wrong. I hope he comes back even better than he was and he goes for a shot for the title. I’m a huge fan. I really enjoy watching him fight.”
St-Pierre, 40, has not competed since UFC 217 in November 2017 when he submitted Michael Bisping to earn the UFC middleweight championship at Madison Square Garden in New York. Although briefly linked to a possible UFC superfight against Khabib Nurmagomedov and a Triller boxing match against Oscar De La Hoya, St-Pierre has not otherwise indicated he’s looking to compete against others any time soon.
UFC 266 takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena. The main card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN News/ESPN+.
Photos: Georges St-Pierre through the years
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