There aren’t many figures in the fighting game who have led their careers with more cunning than Georges St-Pierre.
St-Pierre, 40, is widely regarded as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, a former two-division UFC champion who ruled the welterweight division on two titles in 2006 to 2013, captured the middleweight strap in 2017 after a four-year hiatus from competition, and stands as one of the highest-grossing MMA stars in history. But St-Pierre’s road to financial success hasn’t always been an easy one, and the future UFC Hall of Fame detailed some of the hurdles he has had to overcome in his career for a recent article in the Wealthsimple magazine titled “UFC Won’t Pay You Fairly Unless You Do Them.”
In it, St-Pierre explained that he received a purse of $ 3,000 to show and $ 3,000 to win for his UFC debut against Karo Parisyan at UFC 46 in 2004. After beating Parisyan and Jay Hieron in a subsequent fight, St-Pierre was then awarded a title shot against UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes later that same year, for which St-Pierre wrote he was paid 9 $ 000 to show after eventually losing to Hughes via a first round submission.
However, in 2008, St-Pierre had defeated Hughes twice to win the trilogy between the two welterweights and establish himself as the best 170-pound fighter in the world. As the title defense against Jon Fitch looms at UFC 87 and St-Pierre’s contract with his promotion expires, the Canadian legend wrote that he sees an opportunity to bet on himself and radically change his salary scale within the UFC.
“There is no union in the fighting game. So for us in MMA, negotiations can become like a game of chess, ”wrote St-Pierre.
“Other organizations wanted to have me as a poster and the UFC knew that. So like a poker bluff, we said, “We don’t want to re-sign before the fight, we just want to finish the contract. We took a big risk. Because it’s like a scholarship. Your stock can go up if you are successful, but it can also go down if you lose. But that’s what we decided to do.
According to St-Pierre, his risk paid off before it even reached fight night.
“I took a big bet on myself and told the UFC I wasn’t going to sign with them again. And then, the day before my fight with Jon Fitch, the UFC came back with a big crazy contract because they didn’t want me to become a free agent, ”wrote St-Pierre.
“Did you read that I won $ 400,000 per game?” No, I did a lot more than that. A parcel more than that. Millions. When I was at the peak of my career, I was making millions of dollars. Because you not only get the money to show and the money to be made, but you also get a percentage of the gate and pay-per-view purchases – the gate and pay-per-view is where the door is. real money. This is how fighters earn their money. But you must have the power to negotiate these terms.
St-Pierre noted that instead of spending his new earnings on superficial investments like “jewelry and bling,” he instead invested his money in himself, buying salvage tools like a personal ice bath. and traveling the world in search of the best coaches and training partners. to stay ahead of the competition. If he hadn’t, wrote St-Pierre, the sport might have caught up with him and his window to make life-changing money for his fights would likely have been much smaller.
“I would never have had the career I had,” he writes. “I knew my career was going to be too short for me to spend my money on luxury. “
St-Pierre also revealed financial details of his 2017 comeback against Michael Bisping, which saw St-Pierre return after four years on the set to challenge the middleweight title at UFC 217. St-Pierre ultimately won out. Bisping via a third round submission before leaving MMA entirely with his health and heritage intact. It is still today one of the cleanest outings for an MMA legend in the history of the sport.
“There are a lot of people buried in the wilderness for a lot less than what I did for this fight, my friend,” wrote St-Pierre. “For the fight with Michael Bisping, with the pay-per-views, sponsorship and all that, I made about $ 10 million. Then in 2019, I got out. I am very lucky and very privileged to have finished in the lead. The reality is that most fighters end up broken and broken. They stay there too long. They suffer brain damage. They go bankrupt.
“I am very healthy and rich. It’s very rare to find someone who hangs up their gloves and ends up on them like that.