MANILA, Philippines – Mixed martial arts (MMA) superstar Georges St-Pierre said his knee injury has made him realize how close he was to losing his career.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight king said his journey to recovery made him appreciate the hard work and sacrifices he underwent to maintain his hold on his throne.
"I found the fire again," St-Pierre said in Yahoo! Sports. "I have a new fire, and I appreciate what I have more now. I'm more pumped than I ever have been."
This weekend, he’ll get the chance to test his new-found motivation against interim champion Carlos Condit.
They will battle for the undisputed welterweight championship in UFC 154 on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
UFC president Dana White said not only does St-Pierre have to address his long layoff from MMA, the French-Canadian also has a tough opponent in Condit.
"If he comes off that layoff, off that surgery and he can beat Condit, that would be a massive milestone for him," White said.
"Carlos Condit is plain nasty, man. Beat him any time and it's a huge deal. Beat him after that long time away and after a major knee surgery, wow, I can't even express how significant that would be."