Childhood

Georges St-Pierre was born and raised in the farming community of Saint-Isidore, Québec, 45 km southeast of Québec City. The eldest child of Roland and Paulyne St-Pierre, he has two younger sisters. His mother worked at a nursing home, while his father was a flooring and carpet installer.

As a child, Georges St-Pierre was regularly bullied by older schoolmates, ranging from teasing and threats to physical abuse and theft. When he was in grade three, for example, a bully slammed his head into the table because he wouldn’t give up his five dollars.

St-Pierre was introduced to karate by his father at the age of seven. Although he eventually excelled in the sport, his karate skills didn’t help him in the schoolyard. “You can do all the karate you want,” St-Pierre wrote on his website, “but when you’re eight or nine years old and they’re 12, when you’re alone and there’s three of them, you can’t do anything. That’s the reality.”

At the age of 12, St-Pierre received his 2nd dan (degree) Kyokushin karate black belt. He continued to train in karate until his teacher, Jean Couture, died of lung cancer when Georges was 16 years old. Around that time, St-Pierre saw a video of Brazilian Royce Gracie fighting in UFC 1 in 1993 and got hooked on the sport. After that, he began training in wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing and muay Thai, in addition to karate.

Early Years in MMA

St-Pierre attended École Pierre-Bédard in Saint-Rémi, Québec. While in high school, he spent a lot of time in the weight room (which is now named after him) and broke the school chin-up record.

After the death of his karate coach, Jean Couture, St-Pierre worked closely with martial artist Kristof Midoux (known as “the French Hurricane”), a heavyweight fighter in the UFC. St-Pierre approached Midoux and convinced the MMA fighter to let him train at his club. He participated in his first amateur mixed martial arts fight in 1997, defeating a boxer by knocking him out with a kick to the head.

After high school, St-Pierre attended Cégep Édouard-Montpetit in Longueuil, Québec. When he wasn’t studying or training, he worked at a number of jobs, including collecting garbage, resurfacing floors and being a bouncer at a Montréal nightclub.

By the age of 20, St-Pierre was completely focused on becoming a professional fighter. “When I was young, I was like 20 years old, I didn’t give a damn about anything,” he later remarked. “The only thing in my mind was fighting. I didn’t care about anything else.”

Universal Combat Challenge

St-Pierre made his professional debut in UCC 7 on 25 January 2002, fighting Ivan Menjivar of El Savador at the Verdun Auditorium in Montréal, Québec. He won with a knockout late in the first round. St-Pierre won his three other Universal Combat Challenge (UCC) bouts before beating Pete Spratt of the United States in TKO 14: Road Warriors in Victoriaville, Québec, on 29 November 2003.

UFC Career

St-Pierre’s UCC success helped him land a spot in UFC 46 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on 31 January 2004. St-Pierre delivered an upset over Karo Parisyan of Armenia, winning by a unanimous decision in three rounds. A victory over American Jay Hieron on 19 June 2004 gave St-Pierre a chance to fight American Matt Hughes for the UFC Welterweight Championship in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

St-Pierre lost the championship to Hughes on 22 October 2004 — his first professional loss. However, he won his next four matches leading up to a highly anticipated fight against American BJ Penn in UFC 58. UFC 58 (Las Vegas, 4 March 2006) pitted eight Canadian fighters against eight American fighters.
St-Pierre defeated Penn, becoming one of two Canadians to win his fight (the other was Sam Stout of London, Ontario).

The win over Penn set up a rematch against Hughes. On 18 November 2006, St-Pierre knocked out Hughes in the second round of UFC 65 to win the UFC Welterweight Championship. In his first title defense, St-Pierre lost to American Matt Serra on 7 April 2007 in what is considered to be one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. However, due to a back injury, Serra had to pull out of UFC 79, allowing St-Pierre to fight Hughes for the interim UFC Welterweight title on 29 December 2007. St-Pierre defeated Hughes and got revenge against Serra on 19 April 2008 in a knockout at UFC 83 in Montréal.

St-Pierre successfully defended his title nine times between 9 August 2008 and 16 November 2013 — a UFC welterweight record.

Hiatus

Following his win over American Johny Hendricks on 16 November 2013, St-Pierre announced that he needed a break from ultimate fighting because of personal issues. In the process, he vacated his welterweight title. On 12 September 2017, St-Pierre discussed the reasons behind his absence from the ring in an interview with Newsday. “When I left, it wasn’t because of damage [physical injury]. It was more mental. More anxiety, nervousness. I couldn’t sleep well. I felt like I was claustrophobic. Too much pressure.”

Return to the Ring

On 4 November 2017, St-Pierre made his return to the ring, defeating Michael Bisping of England in the UFC middleweight title fight.

MMA Record

Date
Event Location Opponent Result
25 Jan 2002 UCC 7 Montréal, Québec Ivan Menjivar Win
(1st round)
15 Jun 2002 UCC 10 Gatineau, Québec Justin Bruckmann Win
(1st round)
11 Oct 2002 UCC 11 Montréal, Québec Travis Galbraith Win
(1st round)
25 Jan 2003 UCC 12 Montréal, Québec Thomas Denny Win
(2nd round)
29 Nov 2003 TKO 14 Victoriaville, Québec Pete Spratt Win
(1st round)
31 Jan 2004 UFC 46 Las Vegas, Nevada Karo Parisyan Win
(3rd round)
19 Jun 2004 UFC 48 Las Vegas, Nevada Jay Hieron Win
(1st round)
22 Oct 2004 UFC 50 Atlantic City, New Jersey Matt Hughes Loss
(1st round)
29 Jan 2005 TKO 19 Montréal, Québec Dave Strasser Win
(1st round)
16 Apr 2005 UFC 52 Las Vegas, Nevada Jason Miller Win
(3rd round)
20 Aug 2005 UFC 54 Las Vegas, Nevada Frank Trigg Win
(1st round)
19 Nov 2005 TKO Las Vegas, Nevada Sean Sherk Win
(2nd round)
4 Mar 2006 UFC 58 Las Vegas, Nevada BJ Penn Win
(3rd round)
18 Nov 2006 UFC 65 Sacramento, California Matt Hughes Win
(2nd round)
7 Apr 2007 UFC 69 Houston, Texas Matt Serra Loss
(1st round)
25 Aug 2007 UFC 74 Las Vegas, Nevada Josh Koscheck Win
(3rd round)
29 Dec 2007 UFC 79 Las Vegas, Nevada Matt Hughes Win
(2nd round)
19 Apr 2008 UFC 83 Montréal, Québec Matt Serra Win
(2nd round)
9 Aug 2008 UFC 87 Minneapolis, Minnesota Jon Fitch Win
(5th round)
31 Jan 2009 UFC 94 Las Vegas, Nevada BJ Penn Win
(4th round)
11 Jul 2009 UFC 100 Las Vegas, Nevada Thiago Alves Win
(5th round)
27 Mar 2010 UFC 111 Newark, New Jersey Dan Hardy Win
(5th round)
11 Dec 2010 UFC 124 Montréal, Québec Josh Koscheck Win
(5th round)
30 Apr 2011 UFC 129 Toronto, Ontario Jake Shields Win
(5th round)
17 Nov 2012 UFC 154 Montréal, Québec Carlos Condit Win
(5th round)
16 Mar 2013 UFC 158 Montréal, Québec Nick Diaz Win
(5th round)
16 Nov 2013 UFC 167 Las Vegas, Nevada Johny Hendricks Win
(5th round)
4 Nov 2017 UFC 217 New York City, New York Michael Bisping Win
(3rd round)

Charitable Work

St-Pierre created the Georges St-Pierre Foundation to “help youth, stop bullying and promote physical activity in schools.” The foundation supports Kids Help Phone, PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence) and Bullying.org.