It’s on November 18, 2006, during UFC “Bad Intentions” that the title of welter weight champion (-77.112 kg) went to George Saint-Pierre , young quebecer and rising star of extreme fighting. In a fight scheduled for 5 rounds, Matt Hughes has been dispossessed of his title by K. -O.
at two minutes 15 seconds of the 2nd round.
At the age of 25, this young athlete has proven himself on several occasions. With a record of 13-0-1, he has been able to carve out a place for himself in a sport still disregarded in Quebec.
George is known as much for its effectiveness in the Octagon that for his humility and his kindness
in his everyday life. He is also considered one of the classiest athletes by the community. If this victory has given him an instant notoriety, the ‘Rush’,
named like this because of his rapidity to win fights,
remains close those who shared his life before his success.
Attractive and charming, he loves the company of his friends, of beautiful women,
going to movies, and is an excellent chess player. Quiet and positive, he is far from the rage to win
and the aggressive personality that can be observed when he is in the octogone.
Saint-Pierre determination is what has made him achieve his dream.
Born in Saint-Isidore , he could easily have taken a less shiny path.
Surrounded by gangs and drugs in school, he started to learn karate (Kyokushin style) towards the age of 7 . Thanks to his family support, he continues on.
As a teen, it was the turn of Jiu Jitsu, his favorite martial art; “This is really the technique which allows to be good in this discipline, it isn’t strenght, it is a work of intelligence, that’s the part I like. ” He explains. Then follows boxing, fights, kickboxing and Muy Thai.
It’s in 1993, after having seen Royce Gracie fight,
that a young George decides that’s what he wants to do.
He began amateurs fights at the age of 16, gets his first professional fight, as well as its first victory, at 19, against Ivan Menjívar, defeated by TKO. That time, several persons considered him too young, not strong enough, but he never ceased to fight.
He is a warrior, nothing less, and one can feel it in the enthusiasm he puts in its drive, its preparation and its energy during the fights. The extreme fights were for him the only possible way:
“It takes knowledge to achieve this type of fights, and I am more a martial arts guy, a guy for floor work. With this discipline that I find the challenges that I need. ” He explains.
He maintains a very various training routine, to be at his best when he fights.
He trains in New York with Renzo Gracie, Jiu-jitsu specialist. He received his brown belt in July 2006. He also trains in Quebec and Montreal, and among its coaches there is Victor Vargoski, Jean-Pierre Deneault and Victor Zibberman.
He also trains with Patrick Coté, and with the wrestlers of the Wrestling Club of Montreal. One of its first major battles was the one against Karo Parysian, during UFC 46.
He won by unanimous decision after 3 rounds. During this fight, he used mainly his strength in wrestling and submission. Karo Parysian is very good in defense and St-Pierre is a real cardio beast, which allows him to exhaust his opponent. Georges has used his power against the Judo techniques of his opponent, managing to neutralize him, and hit him with accurate and powerful shots. It was the first victory of St-Pierre within the prestigious American organization.
During a fight in Montreal, Rush remembers the hardest struggle of his career. A fight during which his team of coaches contributed enormously to his victory. The opponent was the very experienced Thomas Denny, a tough American who had fought in the four corners of America. After 2 rounds of fighting, St-Pierre was exhausted, despite its excellent physical form. He remembers speaking with his ring side guy, explaining to him that he had no more energy. Before returning to the 3rd round, he said to him: Listen, I will launch a kick to the head at the beginning of round, and if he doesn’t fall, throw in the towel. He looked back at him and said: We have a problem then, I don’t have a towel, I guess you will die on the ring …
Georges remembers that moment as if it happened yesterday. ʺ he had of course said it to make me react, but in that moment, his response was so shocking to me, I was so surprised to learn that he would let me fall down, that adrenaline rushed in, and I was able to win the fight!ʺ he says with enthusiasm.
After beating Frank Trigg, one of the most dangerous UFC fighters, in only four minutes, it is the turn of Sean Sherk, an excellent wrestler of Olympic caliber, to cope with St-Pierre. Once again, Rush manages to avoid the hits of his rival, and brings him to the ground a few times before ending the fight early in the 2nd round by K. -O.
This victory allowed Georges to obtain a fight against Matt Hughes for the UFC world championship of the 170 pounds. It’s then that the UFC approached his manager , Stéphane Party, to offer him to face BJ Penn instead, before having the chance to fight Hughes, ‘I was disappointed to not get my revenge fight, but as Stéphane explained to me, if I confront Hughes right away and win, my next opponent will be BJ Penn anyways, so we might as well get it over with … ” BJ Penn is a true prodigy of brazilian jiu-jitsu. In 2000 he was the first ‘non-Brazilian’ to win the gold medal in the black belt division in the world championship of Jiu-jitsu in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Penn is also a very good boxer and has a good defense technique, a very global opponent. This battle was the more challenging for Georges but after a true war of trenches, St-Pierre wins by split decision. He left the octagon with a nasty cut on the nose as well as a nose fracture, but he feels no pain from these injuries, since he now knows that he his confirmed to fight once more against Matt Hughes for the world title.
GSP has already resumed training to prepare for his next fight.
Unfortunately, an injury to a knee during a training session will prevent him from facing Matt Serra on February 3.
For now, this injury is the worst of his career. “I never give up, that doesn’t exist in my vocabulary. ” He said with determination. “My title has given me confidence in the future, it proved me that I can get everything done. and the advice I give to everybody, is to always go to the end of your dreams” his determination is surprising,
and it never has abandoned him. Well before he won his title, he never stopped to say that he was ready to get it.
He will now have to wait until April, when he will face Matt Serra. The Rush is expecting an interesting fight, since his opponent is also a Jiu -Jiutsu athlete.
St. Pierre is not afraid of Serra, because according to him, the most dangerous opponent to his title remains Matt Hughes.
He hoped once again to have a fight with him. “Matt is someone that I like and I respect very much, he explains, the life of professional wrestler is not easy, and I am ready to give a chance, just as I had one. “
During the first fight with Hughes, GSP had to accept a defeat. Since then, he has learned from his mistakes and is even stronger, mentally as much as physically. “I haven’t changed my training techniques, my strategy has changed. During my first fight against Hughes i was not ready mentally, in my head I was fighting against my idol, and I said, I don’t deserve this. Now, I am prepared in the same manner I am against any opponent.”
If it’s difficult for George to imagine the day he will no longer be able to fight, the near future is well filled with projects. There will be courses of fighting techniques for the Canadian army, as well as seminars in France. He will also take time to enjoy Las Vegas, city where fans adore him and where there is always something to do. Its internet site is also under construction.
Perseverance, respect, autonomy, here are the values that guide George Saint-Pierre . This wrestler in constant evolution isn’t ready to drop his title. We can only wish him to continue his path, The Rush is just beginning!