Georges St-Pierre is mixed martial arts royalty and he has no issue with YouTubers Jake and Logan Paul entering that realm.
He does, however, have a word of caution for them.
In an interview with JOE.co.uk, “GSP” was asked what he thinks of the infamous Paul brothers, who have drawn the ire of combat sports fans with their involvement in the world of boxing while also drawing massive mainstream interest due to their sizeable social media followings. Logan is set to meet boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in an exhibition bout on June 6, while Paul recently knocked out retired MMA champion Ben Askren at a highly publicized Triller Fight Club event.
St-Pierre offered a pragmatic response to the controversy.
“I’m not one of the haters,” St-Pierre said. “I think they’re doing well. They’re great athletes and they ride the wave, they make a lot of money with it, and I’m glad for him. My friend Jean Pascal trained with one of them in Puerto Rico, I think they’re both there actually. He said they work very hard, they’re hard workers, they ride the wave, you know. It’s a new era with social media and all that, so why not, you know? Who would not have done it? Who would not take advantage of it? And they do it.
“I believe it’s a mistake to think that they could compete amongst the elite of boxing or mixed martial arts because it’s not true, but they are great athletes. Maybe as time goes by they will improve and improve and one day if they want to give it a real shot, let’s go. I think one of them is fighting Floyd Mayweather, but of course, Floyd Mayweather is much smaller and he’s retired, so it’s not the same. It’s not a real championship bout like it would be.”
Neither Logan nor Jake have competed in MMA yet, though both have called out and been called out by a range of MMA stars including Askren, Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, Tyron Woodley, and Nate Diaz. Meanwhile, they continue to make waves, including at a recent press conference to promote Logan’s match with Mayweather, where Jake nearly incited a brawl after stealing Mayweather’s hat.
Those kinds of antics don’t seem to bother St-Pierre that much either and in the grand scheme of things he understands the role that Triller—the organization that promoted the Jake-Askren fight—plays in the entertainment landscape.
“Triller, what they do, they make like a freak show, so to speak,” St-Pierre said. “They want to give people what they want to see, so now it’s a new era. People want to see who is the best fighter in the world, yes, that’s what real boxing fight, Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, will give them. UFC, that’s what it will give them.
“But they want to see also, because they’re curious by nature I guess, they want to see that guy versus that guy because he trash talk him and he did that to him and he grabbed his hat or whatever the hell, so people are curious and that’s what Triller gives them. They give that sort of entertainment. It’s all good. I’m not one of the haters. I think there is room for everything.”