Georges St-Pierre; Unlikely Past For UFC Great
Georges St-Pierre’s hand is raised as the referee indicates the winner of the fight. He shows excitement for a few seconds, then composes himself and goes on to pay respect to his opponent. He does not act cocky or superficial when Joe Rogan interviews him after his victory. He goes back to the locker room and puts on his fancy suit and colorful tie. He sits down at the post-fight press conference, and once again commemorates his opponent rather than poke fun at the beating he just handed out. This is how Georges St-Pierre, GSP for short, handles himself during and after a fight. GSP has gone through this routine his entire fighting career. He holds a 21-2 record (16-2 in the UFC) and is still respectful, intelligent, and one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. He is the current Welterweight Champion in the UFC and has not suffered a loss in over 4 years. On top of that, he avenged both of his losses with overwhelming victories against those who hold the only two blemishes on his record. However, things were not always so easy for the seemingly invincible GSP.
Georges St-Pierre is a Canadian native, born in Saint Isidore, Quebec, and had quite the rough childhood to say the least. GSP went through years of torment and physical beatings from the local bullies at his school. As a child, GSP considered himself an intellectual and only associated himself with others of his kind. Knowing what we all know about growing up, bullies target certain kids and GSP definitely fit that stereotype. He had extreme acne and did not know how to dress himself appropriately to fit in with the other kids at school. On top of that, he was one of the few in his small hometown who did not love sports (even hockey). In multiple interviews, GSP has claimed that he did not “go to school to learn, [he went] to school to survive” (Dan Wetzel, Yahoo article). The torture he received caused GSP to fear his own safety on a minute-to-minute basis throughout his everyday life. Georges did not have the luxury of athletic friends to back him up, so he spent his entire childhood standing up for himself. With no fellow classmates to turn to, GSP decided he needed to take matters into his own hands.
GSP began taking lessons from a Kykushin Karate Master. Quickly mastering the sport, the young boy found a new passion. GSP then went on to pick up Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which only increased his fighting ability. Mixed martial arts just clicked for him, and it was clear that he had some serious natural talent. With his outstanding work effort, the sky was the limit for St- Pierre. By the time GSP reached his early teens and entered the scary world of high school, he was no longer the small wimpy kid who got thrown in lockers and got beat up for his lunch money.
Now, GSP holds UFC’s Welterweight belt, is ranked the #2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world by both ESPN and Yahoo sports, is a 3-time Canadian Athlete of the year, and holds a plethora of other records given out by renowned MMA sites and magazines. He did not let all of this success get to his head and is a likeable figure who displays nothing but respect for the sport, the UFC, his opponents, and the fans. Most people think that MMA fighters are stupid and know nothing more than how to throw punch and take a punch, but I promise you that your opinions will change once you hear this man speak. Georges St- Pierre is a role model for all kids, as he now publicly speaks of his difficult childhood and uses his past to help others who suffer like he had. GSP is the poster fighter for the UFC and truly a spectacular athlete that everyone loves. Even though he never would, I would like to see him bring some of those childhood bullies into the octagon with him.