"It was very tough. I tried to keep my morale up and I write down a lot of stuff. I've been working out on a lot of different things and all the technique and everything that I have learned, it's like I didn't have time to digest it. With this break, it's like everything comes more easy now."
While he keeps his mind active, he's not letting his body go to waste, even if he's not hitting pads or rolling in a gi. "I've been doing a lot of gymnastics training", said St-Pierre. "I'm training right now, but I'm just limited on what I can do for training."
His mind remains focused on one arena, and working the corners of young fighters has helped him keep his head in the game. He tells Spike.com:
"…(F)or me being in the corner of a guy like Francis Carmont, like Rory (MacDonald), I really like these guys. It's like my brothers and when I walk through The Octagon with them, it's like I'm fighting as well. So I have the same feeling as when I'm going to fight. I have the same nervousness. I have the butterflies. For me, it's important to keep that feeling active, so when I come back from a long time off, I'm not going to have ring rust."
The champ hasn't defended the title in close to a year, and speculation places his return to competition in mid-November, leaving plenty of time for the interim title to change hands. St-Pierre knows who he'd prefer to face.
"I want to fight the best guy. I want to fight the number one guy and Carlos Condit beat Nick Diaz. And he has more a variety of attack than Nick Diaz. He comes with the knee, with the elbow, with the kick. Nick Diaz is mostly good with his hands. But they are both dangerous. It's mixed martial arts, everyone is dangerous."
If there were a fight between St-Pierre and Condit, trainer Greg Jackson would step out of both corners, but GSP doesn't see this as a problem for his training regimen or gameplan.
"It's not a disadvantage because he's not going to be in Carlos Condit's corner either. So we're both equal."
Without having Jackson in his corner, St-Pierre can rely on the fans for support, but it wasn't always that way.
"I remember in my first fight with Matt Hughes, I was the underdog. The crowd did not like me. They were chanting 'U-S-A, U-S-A', and they were screaming at me 'Go back in your country! You're going to get beat!"
Obviously, things have changed. "When the crowd is behind me, not always have they been behind me, but when it's been behind me, [I am] more motivated to do well… I didn't give up. I kept working hard. I made myself better than I was before. Now they start liking me more."
Even though St- Pierre's career has been put on hold at the moment, he is looking forward to continuing training, and getting back into The Octagon.
"I will be back better, not only better but much better than I was before."
Photo Credit: Josh Hedges/ Zuffa LLC/ Getty Images