Justin Kingsley wrote a book with Georges St. Pierre. He knows him well.
With everyone analyzing the UFC welterweight champion’s future after his title defense against Johny Hendricks, Kingsley, who co-authored “Way of the Fight” with St. Pierre, joined the Nov. 24 edition of the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Rewind” show to discuss St. Pierre’s post-fight comments and much more.
Kingsley on St. Pierre’s somewhat confusing remarks in the Octagon after the Hendricks bout: “I think, one, it’s a little surprising that you’ve got a guy who just fought maybe the biggest puncher in the UFC, at least in his division, and you get hit 85 times in 25 minutes -- I calculated that’s once every 18 seconds, by a pair of bricks -- and 30 seconds after he wins that fight and gets hit that many times, you expect a guy to be clear and have all his thoughts organized? I was frankly surprised by that interview and by Joe Rogan in the Octagon. I felt he kept pressing and pressing when Georges actually tried to retract and realize … my sense from looking at Georges was that he didn’t want to go too much into detail. He wanted to catch his breath and had just literally taken a beating and he pressed him, but then it just got worse after that.”
On the moment when St. Pierre seemed to want to take the microphone and say something but didn’t say it: “I think he was trying to calm people down. That’s how I feel about it. I saw him and I said, ‘He’s trying to get the microphone back.’ One, he hadn’t spoken in French, and he always tries to say something to his French fans, and two, I think he was just trying to calm everything down and instead he just got more pressure and more messages. My feeling is he realized, ‘Whoa, maybe I’m going a little bit further in this. I need to take a break. I need to get my thoughts together and organize what it is I want to say,’ because he realizes what he says is going to have a huge impact.”
On whether he’s noticed St. Pierre having any issues with his memory: “Have I gotten that sense from my interactions with him? Not at all. To be honest with you, I think Georges is one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met. … I just haven’t seen that. What I have seen is yeah, after a fight and after a sporting event, there’s some moments that stand out. You can replay them in your mind in slow motion and you can slow things down. It’s like ‘NFL Films Presents,’ but there’s other stuff where you’ve got to see it to remember it to believe it. Again, this is a subject we deal with in the book. A lot of times Georges remembers some sequences of a fight very, very clearly, and others, he needs to watch it again.”
On Dana White’s comment that Hendricks won the fight: “I was shocked when I heard Dana White say what he said in the press conference. I was shocked. I was pretty disappointed. I think if he looks in hindsight now, I’d be curious for someone to sit down with him, watch the fight again and see if he’d still say the same thing. My feeling is he made a mistake. Even if he’d been right in fact, he had his greatest champion right there, and when the champion had finished his fight and had fought an unbelievably gruesome battle, instead of helping lift him up, he took a shot at him.
“I’m not sure that’s how Dana White wanted to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his league. I think it hurt the perception of his sport in terms of fans who are on the cusp, who are on the fence. I think it was hurtful. I think a week later, I’d be curious to know how he feels and if he’d still go the same route because it just doesn’t make any sense. I wondered. I’ll be honest with you, again I went back to why would he say this? How does he win? … I’m saying OK, this is an intelligent man. He has built the fastest growing sport in the world and built it globally with Lorenzo [Fertitta] and all those people at the UFC. How does he win by saying what he said? I couldn’t answer that question.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at :30).