Canadian Mixed Martial Arts star George St-Pierre is one of the biggest names in UFC history. He carved a successful career from competing at the top level of his chosen sport, winning multiple titles, including the UFC belt at two divisions, welterweight and middleweight.
The top betting sites, including bet365 accepted bets on St-Pierre’s fights and certain online sportsbooks, even offer odds on the man from Montreal making a comeback to the octagon. At 40 years old and having already achieved so much in the fight game, a comeback is now unlikely, but fans live in hope.
In this article, we look at the sacrifices made to St-Pierre’s living conditions and his life that helped turn him from a great fighter to one of the best UFC champions that ever lived. Here’s what separates George from the MMA champions of today.
Sacrifice without hesitation
Who will be the next MMA talent to emerge from Canada? The future looks bright for the fight game in the region, but there is one trait the up-and-coming warriors can learn from St-Pierre, and it’s not what you may think. During his fighting days, the man known as Rush didn’t live up to that name in all aspects of his career, certainly not outside of the octagon.
George set an example for young fighters that showed, sometimes, a step back is needed to continue your journey. Also, it’s not all about living the dream and high life if you want to be successful in sports. He did this by using some of the cash he had made from fighting to purchase his dream house, only to sell up and, downside, moving to a condominium that was closer to the gym he trained in.
St-Pierre was, to the outside world, living the dream in Montreal. He had a big house, complete with a swimming pool, home gym, cinema room and sprawling acres of land. But the house of his dreams was proving a nightmare in his quest to become a better fighter. Time spent travelling from his home to his gym was time lost perfecting his game. To move to the next level, he had to make the sacrifice of downsizing and moving closer to his place of work. It’s a change he made without hesitation.
It’s tough at the top
That move may not seem major to many, but it was just another example of the steps professional fighters must take if they are serious about making it to the top. Changing the comforts of a big house outside the hustle and bustle of the city for an apartment block that allowed him to spend more time training resulted in George being a better fighter, not to mention a more grounded, realistic champion.
There’s an old saying in the fight game that it’s more difficult to wake up early for a run or trip to the gym when you are sleeping in silk pyjamas. Gladiators that are able to avoid that sort of pampered lifestyle for as long as possible often reign at the top for longer.
George is one of the sport’s highest-earning fighters despite his living arrangements not being in line with what you’d expect from a world champion fighter. At the peak of his powers, he was earning over 400,000 per fight. That may not seem much to the stars of today, such as Conor McGregor, but George was involved at a much earlier stage of UFC and was responsible for bringing MMA to the masses. He was part of a generation of fighters that made MMA ‘cool’. The high earners of today have a lot to thank the likes of St-Pierre for. He was a pioneer of the fight game, which is one reason he will be remembered as one of the sport’s greatest ever pound-for-pound stars.
St-Pierre finished his career with a professional MMA record reading 26 wins and two defeats from 28 fights. Of his victories, a dozen came on the scorecards with eight by knockout and six by submission. His two career losses came against Matt Hughes in 2004 by armbar submission and Matt Serrera by KO punches. He finished with a submission over Michael Bisping on UFC 217 in 2017.