During an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Company while promoting his new documentary, Takedown: The DNA of GSP, former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre discussed a little known facet of his personality that has both fueled his professional life and inhibited his personal one: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. According to St. Pierre, not only has he suffered from the mental anxiety disorder for some time now, but it was the main reason he decided to vacate his title indefinitely following his UFC 167 win over Johny Hendricks.
It was going to drive me crazy. That’s why I took that break.
Everything you do is oriented around that goal. But the same thing could be bad for a normal person in normal life. As a fighter it’s a good thing to have it, because it makes you better because you completely obsess about being a better martial artist.
You hear that? Not even GSP’s brain can ‘andle his riddum’ (I am so going to Hell).
While St. Pierre had mentioned “some personal problems” in need of fixing during his UFC 167 post-fight interview, it is interesting to note that St. Pierre has never *actually* been clinically diagnosed with the disorder to public knowledge. And, as Fightland pointed out, “Only about two percent of the population has OCD.”
This is not to say that GSP is lying, per se, but that he could be simply confusing the meticulous, obsessive nature of being a world class athlete and champion with the symptoms related to OCD. There’s no denying that St. Pierre has been groomed into one of the most calculated fighters on the planet over the years, but (again, as Fightland pointed out), there’s a big difference between having OCD and simply being a perfectionist in the aspect of your life where it is most necessary to be one.
Of course, the correlation between top athletes and anxiety disorders is a well documented one, and we will only truly know the gravitas of St. Pierre’s condition if/when he decides to delve into it further. One thing’s for sure, St. Pierre will not be making a return to the UFC until he has his mind sorted out.
“I will be happy doing it again until the obsessiveness takes over and makes me unhappy again,” he told the CBC.
Perhaps this is the “dark place” St. Pierre was referring to in the lead-up to his fight with Nick Diaz, maybe? In any case, we just hope that St. Pierre has found some sense of serenity in his post-UFC life, regardless of whether or not we’ll ever see him fight again.