Looks like George St. Pierre will have to answer questions about something besides his return to the UFC. In the past few days, the mixed martial arts world has figured out that the former welterweight champion did not keep exactly the greatest company in his inner circle. Usually the very clean and controlling G.S.P keeps his name out of further review outside the sport of mixed martial arts, but when one of the most popular fighters ever to step foot inside an octagon coordinates with one of the biggest drug kingpins in Canada, people will tend to notice immediately. Georges St. Pierre released a letter to his fans in which he clarified that he was sorry for the stir it caused, but not sorry for the loyalty he showed towards the company he kept; summing it up in a simpler sense, he is sorry for not being sorry.
One of the greatest champions in the UFC often trained with the international drug kingpin, Jimmy Cournoyer, building a bond of friendship since 2009. In the letter, St. Pierre noted that he was only trying to support the process of moving his friend to a Canadian prison, transferring him closer to his family. Also written in the statement, Georges states that he has visited his reprimanded friend in prison twice, and have held many conversations since being imprisoned. Pierre cites loyalty, and a belief in redemption for his friend; and no matter what the case may be, there will always be a place for Jimmy Cournoyer in the Canadian’s corner. Some of the charges against Cournoyer includes witness tampering and numerous drug trafficking charges for importing narcotics through the United States and Mexico. This will likely be no minor sentencing; he may face a minimum of 20 years in prison.
“You are the company you keep” does not fit the bill for an honest man like G.S.P. The former number one draw in the UFC has been nothing short of a class act since walking into the octagon. A true champion’s champion; which is hardly replicable in a sport that has started to become defined by brash talk and self centered around self promotion and marketing. Georges was never really decent at either of the two, just letting his humble persona and his irreplaceable mixed martial arts skill take care of all the banter from other fighters. This may have been one smidgen to George’s nearly unblemished reputation outside of the octagon. Can one really judge another based on the compromise of loyalty to a close friend or family? There is where many may draw a fine on the subject at hand. A former champion, a Canadian ambassador of mixed martial arts of sorts; St. Pierre may very well never be able to escape being linked to his imprisoned friend, but to the loyal fans, does it honestly really even matter?
Commentary by Justin Huffman
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Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer leading the coverage in MMA