Georges St-Pierre has some advice for a current champion in the midst of his own historic title run.
The former two-division UFC champion spent time with middleweight king Israel Adesanya at a dinner that Adesanya recorded and uploaded for a YouTube vlog, which can be viewed above.
St-Pierre is widely regarded as the greatest welterweight fighter in MMA history and also won the UFC’s middleweight title during his time with the promotion, and he praised Adesanya for his temperament in the face of recent criticism.
“It’s good that you use it as a fuel to motivate you because it gives you more energy to prove them wrong,” St-Pierre said in the video. “But don’t pass the line of doing this. Heavy is the crown, my friend.”
“Nobody can understand, but it gets worse and it adds more weight to your shoulders every fight,” he later added. “Every fight is bigger and bigger and the criticism is worse and the expectations are more and more and more… keep the fire. Because this adventure can change you from the inside out and it changes the brain, your center of comments, you don’t that to change, especially not right now.”
Though Adesanya has has been a dominant champion, with a 20-1 pro record (his one loss came in a light heavyweight title bout against Jan Blachowicz) and five straight successful title defenses at 185 pounds, he has taken heat recently due to a perceived lack of action in his fights. Adesanya has won several lopsided decisions as champion, but bouts against Jared Cannonier, Marvin Vettori, and Yoel Romero were not well-received from an entertainment standpoint.
St-Pierre also occasionally faced criticism for a safe style of fighting that often saw him grounding and completely neutralizing his opponents, but he remained one of the UFC’s biggest draws for years.
In another bit of wisdom, “GSP” reminded Adesanya to not let fame and money change him.
“I see how someone is nice, how he is with the waiter, how he is with the driver, how he is with the guy at the lobby,” St-Pierre said. “A lot of people, it’s insecurity. They try to be someone that they’re not. Once you poke that f****** shield, you see the real person.”
The UFC stars also shared a laugh over an inadvertently inappropriate hand gesture, showed off what they knew of each other’s native languages, and talked about Adesanya’s incredible UFC 236 fight with Kelvin Gastelum.