Georges St-Pierre says he was ashamed to admit he was going through depression when he walked away from MMA after he beat Johny Hendricks.
St-Pierre was at the top of the world as the UFC‘s welterweight division, but he was having a tough time mentally. After edging out the split decision victory over Hendricks, he told Joe Rogan he needed some time away from the sport. He now says that was due to him dealing with depression, but he was ashamed to admit it at the time.
“I think I just needed vacation, and I was in some kind of depression at the time,” St-Pierre told Burt Watson (via MMA Junkie). “I was ashamed to admit it because I had a dream life. I have a lot of money, I’m healthy, and I was ashamed to admit that I was going towards depression, because I didn’t know how people would think about me. They would be like, ‘Oh, what does he have to complain for? He’s champion of the world, he’s rich, what the hell is he complaining for?’ So I was ashamed, but I was going through mental depression and on top of that I was fighting in the UFC against performance-enhancing drugs, and I had a lot of personal issues. I just needed a break.”
Although St-Pierre says he was ashamed about feeling depressed, now, it is much more acceptable for fighters and athletes to admit such a thing. Mental health issues are something that is getting more known and accepted and even St-Pierre dealt with it.
Georges St-Pierre ended up staying away from MMA for four years and returned in November of 2017 when he moved up a weight class to fight Michael Bisping for the middleweight title. The Canadian won the fight by submission and announced his retirement later on and now seems quite happy in retirement.
What do you make of Georges St-Pierre saying he had depression when he walked away from MMA?