After toppling middleweight champion Michael Bisping at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Georges St-Pierre gave up the belt.
No, he hasn’t vacated the middleweight championship, although there is a lot of speculation that he might do that before unifying it with interim champion Robert Whittaker.
St-Pierre actually did give away his physical UFC title belt. It’s a practice that has been in place for many years, ever since he was UFC welterweight champion.
UFC champions are issued a new belt after each championship victory. St-Pierre has long made it a practice of his to give his newly minted championship belt to someone in his inner circle, someone that he felt helped him achieve success.
Following his UFC 217 victory over Bisping, St-Pierre gave his middleweight strap to Victor Zilberman, the head coach of the Montreal Wrestling Club, who helped shape St-Pierre’s wrestling base.
St-Pierre has long been considered one of the greatest UFC champions ever to grace the Octagon. And he just continues to show that he’s as much a champion outside of the cage as he is in it.
Happy to give my new middleweight belt to coach Victor. I owe a big part of my success in the octagon to the Montreal Wrestling Club & YMHA! pic.twitter.com/bHx8YPEHsM
— Georges St-Pierre (@GeorgesStPierre) November 8, 2017