Former two-division UFC champion Georges St-Pierre is among the few fighters that have a legitimate claim to being the greatest fighter to grace the octagon.
“Rush” entered the UFC with a 5-0 record and would fight for the vacant 170-pound championship two fights later. He was defeated by Matt Hughes that night at UFC 50 back in October 2004. Following the loss to Hughes, St-Pierre went on a five-fight winning streak to earn a rematch.
Early in the second round, St-Pierre knocked Hughes out to capture the welterweight title. It was the dawning of a new era, but he hit a bump in the road in his first title defense, losing to Matt Serra by TKO at UFC 60 in April 2007. He would never taste defeat again.
The Canadian defeated Serra in a rematch in dominating fashion to win back the belt and held it until he decided to walk away from the sport in 2013. He defended the championship nine times.
In 2017, after being away from the sport for four years, St-Pierre returned to the octagon to challenge for the middleweight championship against then-titleholder Michael Bisping. Late in the third round of the UFC 217 main event, St-Pierre became a two-division UFC champion by submitting Bisping via a rear-naked choke. He later vacated the title and announced his official retirement on Feb, 21, 2019 at a press conference at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
St-Pierre was an athlete more than a fighter. Fighting wasn’t something he liked to do, but he did it as well as anyone.
“I don’t miss fighting at all,” St-Pierre recently said during a question and answer session with UFC fans in Paris. “I never liked to fight. I liked the freedom that it gives me, of course the income, the money, the wealth, the health, because being a professional athlete is a healthy lifestyle even though it’s very dangerous – the access to things that most people don’t have. That’s why I fight for. I fought for having this freedom.”
“Now I’m retired and have no more stress, and I’m the happiest man on the planet.”