Former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre returned after a four-plus year absence to defeat Michael Bisping at UFC 217 to become the UFC Middleweight Champion.
Brian Stann is a former UFC fighter and color commentator, but he says the new middleweight champion is going through quite the battle with anxiety.
“That’s a tremendous layoff,” Stann said on The Anik & Florian Podcast. “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.”
Prior to his bout at UFC 217, the last time fans saw GSP in the Octagon was when he battled former UFC Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks at UFC 167.
Stann also admits that after GSP’s win at UFC 217, the new middleweight champion is the greatest fighter ever.
“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,” he said.
The former UFC fighter and color commentator left the UFC earlier this year to pursue other job opportunities.