There was a time when I so adored Georges St-Pierre, that I could write of nothing else.
To me, The UFC meant GSP—and that became the focus of my whole life. I watched all the events, of course, but I was always hoping to catch a glimpse of Georges sitting in the audience, clowning with an orange slice or stepping into the cage to announce whether or not he was impressed with a fighter's performance.
As long as I had some hope of seeing Georges, I was content—no matter where the event was held—no matter who might be fighting—no matter what the outcome.
Watching all of the TUF series that Georges appeared in became a passion for me: I practically memorized them.
Obviously, when Georges agreed to coach opposite Josh Koscheck, I was primed for an unmatchable experience. Boy did I enjoy each episode to the max.
That naughty Josh angered me each time he plotted a new way to prank my idol. He was such a jerk that I flashed back to the seventh and eighth grade angst I had barely survived.
Why are boys that age such jerks?
Well, Josh took me back into the corners of my mind that were best left forgotten; my hero worship and dedication to Georges simply became more deeply ingrained than ever.
When one of Josh's coaches made the statement that anyone who spent an hour with Josh Koscheck would fall in love with him, I not only scoffed—I made mock of him to anyone who would listen or read my articles on the subject.
That is the very idea.
Then finally, the date of the fight arrived. My whole family was stoked. Not just for the fight that was a given, but as the saying goes: "If mama ain't happy, then no one ain't happy."
The opposite is equally true.
So, all were gathered in great harmony and anticipation for another notch to be added to the Georges' WW belt.
Anyone who recalls the fight remembers the grueling jab fest that won the contest for Georges, and destroyed the right orbital bone of Josh Koscheck's face.
How could anyone possibly forget—what with horror pictures of the damage circulating all over the Web?
As many of those watching, I was very convinced that the pain must have been unimaginable for Josh to bear —yet he kept on fighting.
The initial injury occurred in the beginning of the very first round, even a fool could tell when it happened.
The fight progressed and every minute of my life where I experienced actual visceral pain came back to haunt me. Surgeries, injuries requiring trips to the emergency room and stitches, a light bulb exploding, sending shards of glass into my eye—all came back in a rush.
Yet as Josh continued to try in vain to fight back, swinging hopefully in the vicinity of where he thought that Georges must be—a new feeling entered my being.
Georges is such a stellar fighter, he can determine where and how a fight takes place.
Why I wondered?
Did he not have mercy on Josh and quit peppering that same spot with sharp jabs?
Georges surely could have taken the blinded Koscheck down, submitted him and put him out of his misery.
Why keep working that one-ruined spot?
Did you intend to force Josh out of fighting altogether?
Winning a fight is important to anyone, I know, but at such a dear cost as the loss of vision for one warrior?
Well, it did not take an hour of sitting down with Josh Koscheck to make me fall in love with him. The five rounds he went with Georges did it and even more. After the fight I hated Georges St-Pierre.
My whole family thought I had had another stroke or gone nuts. No one believed me—at first.
But as days and weeks went on, when I offered to give away my Brian Fox limited edition painting No. 33—it finally sank in for them.
Grandma Dee had changed allegiance from GSP to Josh Koscheck.
Truly, I was astounded at Josh's pure strength and unlimited courage.
How on earth did he go five rounds with so much damage, limited vision and not throw in the towel or refuse to answer the bell?
Now this is the stuff that makes a real hero.
Georges could have changed his game plan and ended the fight early with Josh at such a disadvantage—but he didn't.
At the next fight, I actually cheered when Georges held his eye after Jake Shields hit him in the eye—and he cried out: "My eye, my eye, I can't see!"
How did that moment feel Georges, so near to the end of the fight with Jake?
Did it compare to the twenty-five minutes of excruciating pain that Josh underwent?
I think not.
However, Josh Koscheck is my new love.
Thank Georges for that.