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Georges St. Pierre Advises Fighters To Ditch Friends & Hire Professionals
Not only did former UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre manage to be one of the most successful fighters inside of the cage, but “Rush” also managed to be highly successful outside of it.
The Canadian superstar branded himself better than anyone and is now one of the most wealthy UFC fighters of all time.
Before he decided to semi-retire last year and vacate his belt, St. Pierre was undoubtedly the company’s biggest draw when it came to pay-per-view (PPV) events. He also scored big-time sponsorship deals with highly touted sports companies Gatorade and Under Armor.
However, it seems like fighters today are nowhere near as successful as he was in terms of money. Specifically, champions like Jose Aldo and Demetrious Johnson have dominated their weight classes like St. Pierre once did, but neither man has emerged as a fan favorite or a big draw the way he did.
The former champ appeared on a recent edition of Chael Sonnen’s “You’re Welcome” podcast to offer his advice to fighters who may be struggling in this area:
“One thing I can advise the professional athlete in mixed martial arts, you have to take it in a way that, you need to see your career as a business. I’m not qualified, I’m not competent for business because I’m a martial artist. I am competent to fight. So, when it is time to negotiate deals, or deal with my taxes or lawyer, I’m hiring the best people, the people I could find most competent for the job.”
Although GSP was indeed very successful regarding the business side of the fight game, he admits that his success didn’t come without any problems along the way:
“I don’t try to do this stuff myself or to pick one of my friends. A lot of fighters, they got caught up in those kind of things and I did myself as well, I had a lot of problems, I got different law disputes and stuff like that, I lost a lot of money. I made a lot of money, but I could have made way more. I’m lucky because it happened in the beginning of my career, and I learned from those mistakes.”
The problem, as St. Pierre sees it, is that young fighters who are new to the “big show” may be solely focused on their fighting and may fall victim to the tricky business aspects of the fight game:
“The problem, when you are going up, you have a lot of fake friends, a lot of people who tell you ‘you can trust me,’ and this and that” St-Pierre said. “It happened to me. I’m not better than anyone else. I got my share of mistakes as well. But I got lucky. … You need good people around you to make the most and assure yourself a future.”
After dominating the welterweight division for years and becoming one of the best champions and overall fighters in the history of the sport, it is clear that GSP is financially set for his post-fighting career. However, that doesn’t mean the Canadian doesn’t feel bad for fighters who aren’t in his position:
“Nothing breaks my heart more than in this world than to see an athlete who has an outstanding career and then when he is finished, he retires, he is broke. I heard that in newspapers in documentaries. I’ve seen it many times in football and MMA and it broke my heart. Please guys, make sure you are well surrounded, not by friends but by competent people.”
Should fighters take St. Pierre’s advice? He certainly knows a thing or two about the business of MMA, and it’s clear he doesn’t need any more money. But with rumors of a return swirling, will that fact keep him out of the octagon?