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Children and fans new to MMA may not remember, but back in October 2010 Georges St-Pierre was the lord of all creation. UFC welterweight champion of the world, pound-for-pound title contender, and owner of an unreasonably muscular body, GSP was the golden child and the face of a movement. He was good looking, he was charming, he was affable, he was hard-working, he was everything MMA and the UFC needed him to be at that time: a cage-fighter who didn’t look or sound the part. He was a poster child at the height of his powers, right when his sport was making its way out of the dark ages.
He was also a fantastic nerd, a man who despite his chiseled frame, athletic genius, barely concealed rage, and millions of dollars, was willing to admit that he was more interested in dinosaurs than sports. “Ask me a question about the Jurassic period or the Cretaceous period and I probably could answer it,” GSP told ESPN at the time. “Seriously, I’m into paleontology. That’s the study of prehistoric life. … Most of my friends are nerds like me. That’s why I have a hard time finding a girlfriend. I need someone to talk science with.”
At a time when MMA was still struggling for legitimacy and mainstream cultural acceptance (long before Fox Sports and Reebok and the New York State Assembly) St-Pierre made cage-fighting safe for everyday average people by showing them that underneath all the brutality and roiling violence could live the gentle soul of a geek, someone who felt more comfortable visiting museums than talking to girls. GSP wasn’t a beast; he was just a normal guy. Like us. Except he had been sent down to earth by the MMA gods to make his sport safe for the world.
Now, ….View full article