St-Pierre has been honest about the anxiety he must deal with prior to a fight.
Claiming that it sometimes makes him ‘hate fighting’, the Canadian was still able to brush off a four-year absence and beat a UFC middleweight champion despite having never fought anyone as big as Bisping.
Stann, while appearing on the Anik & Florian Podcast (h/t Bloody Elbow) claimed that this makes him the ‘greatest’ fighter of all time:
“That’s a tremendous layoff. There is a huge difference — I don’t care what kind of shape you get into in the gym, in training camp. I don’t care if you measure everything, your resting heart rate, I don’t care — it’s all different when you’re actually in that Octagon in fight night. The bright lights, the anxiety, the nerves — GSP, he suffers from some of the worst anxiety I’ve ever seen in this sport, which makes what he did even more special.
“I thought he was fantastic, I thought he was technically very good. He did obviously slow down, but it was expected. It looked like Michael Bisping was taking over that fight, but GSP found a way to do it. It’s not like he did anything that was completely different from what we’ve seen before in his career, but the fact that he was able to come and fight at that level, after 4 years on the bench is absolutely outstanding to me.”
Stann could not hide his admiration for the Canadian’s achievements:
“I’ve long thought he was the best to ever do it. I’ve transitioned recently to Demetrious Johnson. Now, with GSP coming back and doing that? I’ve got to say that GSP is the best ever. When you look at who he’s beaten, how long he has been dominant, and to come back now at this age, four years on the bench, and win a belt a weight class above? That’s a big jump.
“That’s a 15-pound difference. This isn’t boxing, where the weight class is 5lbs higher. He went from fighting guys walking around 190, 185, to now fighting a guy who walks around at 225 in Michael Bisping. That’s a tremendous jump.”