UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre is not only known for being a fantastic fighter but a class act outside of the Octagon as well. The combination of both have helped turn the 30-year old French-Canadian into one of MMA’s wealthiest competitors with an elite-level of sponsorship including backers like Under Armor and Gatorade.
However, St-Pierre doesn’t feel he’s special or even necessarily lucky in that regard because achieving the level of success he has was a goal of his from the first time he ever stepped foot inside a ring.
“I wore a suit at press conferences when all the other fighters were making fun of me. (They said), ‘Oh, look at St-Pierre, he doesn’t wear his sponsor.’ I’m the one who first started doing this stuff,” said GSP on the importance of professionalism in an interview with MMAFighting. “Because the sponsor, the big companies in corporate America, they’re not interested in sponsoring an athlete who is good in his sport but acts like an idiot outside of the Octagon. They want someone who performs well, of course, but acts like a gentleman outside of the Octagon.”
“I understood that more than ten years ago,” St-Pierre continued. “That’s why I behave the way I do and I do things that I do. That’s why I have a lot of sponsors. I do have a lot of sponsors and a lot of money because of this. It brings money to the table.”
St-Pierre now sees other fighters following his example and achieving similar success such as Jon Jones. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of his peers who still tend to act like knuckleheads instead of presenting themselves as true professionals.
“It’s sad to see that it takes a long time for them to understand,” stated St-Pierre, refusing to mention any specific names out of respect.
St-Pierre has said himself he makes between $4-5 million per fight. With money like that talking it seems it’s time for every Mixed Martial Artist to start listening.