Johny Hendricks isn’t losing sleep over Georges St-Pierre’s lingering decision of whether to return to the UFC. As far as Big Rigg is concerned, the chapter has closed on the St-Pierre era, and he isn’t the least bit concerned if it forever remains that way.
Every story has an ending. Perhaps in the most unsatisfying way, we all witnessed the curtains close on arguably the greatest career in MMA history well over a year ago. St-Pierre, the highest grossing pay-per-view star in UFC history, relinquished the welterweight title and walked away from fighting.
The decision was untimely and surprising to say the least. It came merely a few weeks after St-Pierre defeated Hendricks in a controversial split decision at UFC 167. During a media conference call in 2013, the French Canadian star claimed he was going on an indefinite hiatus to take care of things in his personal life.
No one knew if the decision was permanent or temporary. Imagine Hendricks, a perennial welterweight contender, learning he may never get a chance at redemption.
He had come so close to snatching the title from the taut clutches of the welterweight king, only to fall short by a couple of opinions. It was agonizing.
There’s a part of Hendricks that will always want that fight back, but there is also a part of him that is ready to move on. When appearing on Submission Radio, Hendricks admitted a part of him hopes St-Pierre stays retired:
There’s a part of me that sits there and says, ‘Yes, I’d love to have him back, because I would like to fight him again,’ but then there’s also a part of me where you’re never going to be able to take away what he did. Does that make sense? He did a lot of stuff for the sport and a lot of stuff for the welterweight division. So there’s a part of me that says, ‘hey, stay in retirement and let us decide to see who the next sort of GSP will be.’ That’s where my head’s at.
In a recent interview with the Winnipeg Sun, St-Pierre stated that he was still training hard and contemplating an MMA return. However, it shouldn’t come as any surprise if he decides to never step foot into the Octagon again.
He isn’t necessarily hurting for money, and Hollywood continues to knock on his door with various film roles. He recently appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier as Batroc the Leaper, and he is slated to play Kavi in Kickboxer: Vengeance, a feature film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Professional athletes rarely go out on top in their sport. St-Pierre walked away from MMA as a world champion, having avenged every loss in his career.
Maybe things should stay that way.
Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for FanRag Sports and co-founder of The MMA Bros.