Georges St-Pierre Through the years

Georges St-Pierre (popularly known as GSP) was born on May 19, 1981, to his parents Roland and Pauline St-Pierre. He was born in Saint-Isidore, Montérégie, Quebec.

St-Pierre grew up with two younger sisters. He had a challenging upbringing, going to a school where other students would take his belongings, including his money and clothing. As a youngster, St-Pierre played hockey and skating.

GSP with her two sisters

At the age of seven, he started training in Kyokushin Karate to protect himself from a bully at school. St-Pierre went to secondary school at École Pierre-Bédard, where he held the record for the most chin-ups performed in a single class. Following graduation, he joined Cégep Édouard-Montpetit to study kinesiology.

St-Pierre worked as a bouncer at the South Shore nightclub Fuzzy Brossard and as a garbageman for six months to help pay for his school expenses before becoming a pro in mixed martial arts. At the age of 12, he had already earned his second dan in Kyokushin karate.

St-Pierre competed in his first professional match at the age of 20. Jean-Claude Van Damme served as St-Pierre’s inspiration when he was younger. According to GSP, facing him in Kickboxer: Vengeance was “a dream come true.”

GSP and Jean-Claude Van Damme

Throughout his combat sports career, Georges St-Pierre has trained with a variety of organisations. Between the ages of 19 and 20, he started training in wrestling at the Montreal Wrestling Club of the Reinitz Wrestling Centre. He stayed there until the conclusion of his career.

GSP spent a lot of time working out with wrestlers from the Canadian national team and wanted to try out for a spot on the squad for the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. However, his obligations as the UFC Welterweight Champion prevented him from doing so.

GSP also received jiu-jitsu instruction at the Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in New York City. In July 2006, St-Pierre obtained his BJJ brown belt from Renzo Gracie. St-Pierre went on to receive his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu from Bruno Fernandes in September 2008.

At UFC 46, St-Pierre made his UFC debut against the highly-rated Karo Parisyan. He ended up winning the match by unanimous decision.

GSP and wrestling coach Victor Zilberman
GSP vs Karo Parisyan

At UFC 50, he competed against Matt Hughes for the vacant UFC Welterweight Championship. St-Pierre put up a strong show against the much more seasoned opponent. But with only 10 seconds left in the first round, he submitted to an armbar. St-Pierre suffered his first defeat in his professional career.

GSP vs Matt Hughes

After UFC 52, St-Pierre made the decision to compete in the under 77 kg class of the largest grappling competition in the world. He fought Otto Olson in his first match in the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship. St. Pierre ended up winning the match by points.

GSP beat former UFC welterweight champion B.J. Penn at UFC 58 via split. He rose to the position of top contender. He was then set to compete against then-champion Matt Hughes in a rematch at UFC 63. However, St-Pierre was forced to withdraw from the match due to an injury.

GSP vs B.J. Penn

At UFC 65, St-Pierre competed against Matt Hughes for the UFC Welterweight Championship. Hughes managed to survive the first round despite St-Pierre sending him to the mat with a superman punch and a left hook.

GSP and his coach Firas Zahabi

After Hughes was struck in the head with a left kick in the second round and received a torrent of punches and elbows, St-Pierre was able to finish the fight by technical knockout. St-Pierre re-signed with the UFC after the match for a new six-bout contract on January 30, 2007.

St-Pierre suffered just his second (and last, as of his official retirement in 2019) defeat in MMA at UFC 69 at the hands of TUF 4 winner Matt Serra. The referee was forced to intervene at 3:25 of the first round following a string of blows. GSP eventually cut ties with his management and the majority of his entourage.

GSP vs Matt Serra

Georges St-Pierre faced Matt Serra in a rematch at UFC 83 in April 2008 to determine the undisputed UFC welterweight title. St-Pierre pushed the action early with a takedown and then varied his assault instead of opening with strikes. Serra never got the opportunity to establish a serious offence.

Serra was driven into the turtle position in the second round by St-Pierre, who then repeatedly kneed Serra in the midsection. The match was interrupted by the referee Yves Lavigne, at the conclusion of the second round. Serra was clearly out of energy and unable to protect himself from St-Pierre’s constant strikes.

At UFC 87, St-Pierre faced off against Jon Fitch in his first title defence. Fitch had won 16 straight matches, and a victory against St-Pierre would have been his ninth straight victory in the UFC. Jon Fitch was defeated by St-Pierre by unanimous decision.

UFC Welterweight Champion George St. Pierre and challenger Jon Fitch at UFC 87

Following Fitch’s defeat, B.J. Penn entered the octagon and challenged St-Pierre to a rematch of their UFC 58 encounter from 2006. The rematch took place at UFC 94 in January 2009. GSP ended up winning the match, with B.J. Penn getting so badly injured that he had to go to the hospital.

In November 2012 at UFC 154, St-Pierre defended his welterweight championship once again against Carlos Condit. He ended up winning the match via unanimous decision. Both the competitors received the Fight of the Night bonus for their performance.

GSP vs Carlos Condit

In December 2013, St-Pierre made it known that he had willingly given up the title and would be taking a break from mixed martial arts. He left the door open for a potential future comeback to MMA. GSP said in a 2021 interview that he needed the break in order to deal with personal concerns and the UFC’s excessive usage of PEDs.

In June 2016, GSP said that he was renegotiating his contract with the UFC with the hopes of competing again at UFC 206 in Toronto in December. After months of discussions, St-Pierre and UFC allegedly reached an agreement on the financial conditions of a multi-fight deal in February 2017. GSP stated the deal included four bouts.

In November 2017, the main event of UFC 217 featured GSP vs Bisping. This was almost four years after GSP’s previous fight at UFC 167. St-Pierre beat Bisping in the third round via technical submission to win the Middleweight Championship. He became the fourth person in UFC history to hold titles in various weight classes.

GSP and Michael Bisping face off

St-Pierre’s comeback to the octagon surpassed the boxing bout between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor in August 2017 in terms of pay-per-view sales in Canada. Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau even praised St-Pierre on his victory.

After 34 days of holding the title, St-Pierre said that he was giving it up in December 2017. As he was suffering from ulcerative colitis, St-Pierre didn’t want to hold up the middleweight division.

In February 2019, St-Pierre made his formal retirement announcement at a news conference held at Montreal’s Bell Centre.

St-Pierre established the GSP Foundation. It is a nonprofit organisation that works to reduce bullying and promote young people’s involvement in sports.

St-Pierre has also talked about his mental illness in various interviews. He has said that he “was in some kind of depression” around the time of his initial retirement. Additionally in 2014, he claimed to have obsessive-compulsive disorder and acknowledged that his OCD had a role in his success.

St-Pierre has a tattoo of the word Jujutsu in ‘kanji’ on the left side of his chest. Additionally, he also has Fleur-de-lis on his right leg.

GSP likes to keep a low profile and has kept details about his personal life private. However, there have been rumours that he has dated a number of women, including Divine Kirezy and Lucy Onyeforo. There were also rumours that he dated American singer Mandy Moore. However, GSP has denied those rumors.

Additionally, GSP has also been a part of the popular Marvel franchise. In ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ and ‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’, Georges St-Pierre played the role of Georges Batroc.

GSP as Georges Batroc