The following is a guest post submitted by Bill Stephenson
You’d forgive a professional athlete for being a little apprehensive about the prospect of retirement. However, for Canadian mixed martial artist, and UFC great Georges St-Pierre, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
After many years, lighting up the UFC’s welterweight division, the three-time champion decided to relinquish his belt after defeating American Johnny Hendricks on points after five grueling rounds of combat. With a contentious decision swaying in the favor of St-Pierre, coupled with some reported personal issues, St-Pierre decided that the time was right to step away from the octagon for the foreseeable future.
However, the future Hall of Famer hasn’t sat back on his laurels during his time away from the sport. St-Pierre is known to stay busy during downtime. One of his more publicized pursuits has been his regular appearance in films as of late. Having already featured in two action films, the Canadian starred in this year’s Captain America: the Winter Soldier blockbuster.
But that’s not the only thing that’s been keeping GSP busy; he is also an avid poker fan, having turned his dream into reality when he finally played in one of poker’s most prestigious tournaments in 2012. Since then GSP has been photographed at many high-profile poker tournaments as well as a lot of charity poker events that has also drawn fellow MMA fighter Martin Kampmann.
GSP’s love for poker is said to have grown from watching the early poker superstars such as Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson on primetime television around about when the online revolution began to gather steam after InterCasino was launched during the late 90s. Since then poker has been one of the most watched sports on television.
Many other successful sportsmen and women have also transitioned into poker upon retirement. Tennis ace Boris Becker, soccer player Teddy Sheringham and even golfer Tiger Woods has made their bows in professional poker events across the world.
And although even the most well connected MMA insider is still unsure of whether a GSP return is imminent, he sure won’t be stuck for things to do if he does decide against a return to MMA.