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Georges St-Pierre reveals details of past UFC negotiations, career earnings

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  • Georges St-Pierre reveals details of past UFC negotiations, career earnings

    There aren’t many figures in the fight game who handled their careers more astutely than Georges St-Pierre.

    St-Pierre, 40, is widely considered to be one of the greatest MMA fighters of all-time, a former two-division UFC champion who reigned over the welterweight division across two title runs from 2006-13, captured the middleweight strap in 2017 following a four-year hiatus from competition, and stands as one of history’s most bankable MMA stars. But St-Pierre’s path to financial success wasn’t always easy, and the future UFC Hall of Famer detailed some of the hurdles he had to overcome in his career for recent piece in Wealthsimple Magazine titled, “The UFC Won’t Pay You Fairly Unless You Make 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 defeating Parisyan and Jay Hieron in a subsequent bout, St-Pierre was then awarded a title shot against the UFC’s welterweight champion Matt Hughes later that same year, for which St-Pierre wrote that he was paid $9,000 to show after ultimately losing to Hughes via first-round submission.

    However, by 2008, St-Pierre had twice defeated Hughes to win the trilogy between the two welterweights and establish himself as the preeminent 170-pound fighter in the world. With a title defense against Jon Fitch looming at UFC 87, and St-Pierre’s contract with his promotion set to expire, the Canadian legend wrote that he saw an opportunity to gamble on himself and dramatically change his pay scale within the UFC.

    “There is no union in the fight game. So, for us in MMA, negotiations can become like a chess game,” St-Pierre wrote.

    “Other organizations wanted to have me as their poster boy and UFC knew that. So, like a poker bluff, we said, ‘We don’t want to re-sign before the fight — we want to just finish the contract.’ We took a big risk. Because it’s like a stock market. Your stock might go up if you’re 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 he ever even reached fight night.

    “I took a big gamble on myself and told UFC I was not going to re-sign with them. 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,” St-Pierre wrote.

    “You read I made $400,000 a match? No. I made a lot more than that. A lot more than that. Millions. When I was at the peak of my career, I was making many millions of dollars. Because you not only get the money to show and the money to win, but you also have a percentage of the gate and pay-per-view buys — the gate and the pay-per-views are where the real money is. That’s how fighters make their money. But you need to have the power to negotiate those terms.”

    St-Pierre noted that rather than splurging his newfound winnings on superficial investments like “jewelry and bling,” he instead invested his money into himself, purchasing recovery tools like a personal ice bath and traveling the world in search of the best coaches and training partners to help stay one step ahead of his competitors. Had he not done so, St-Pierre wrote, the sport may have caught up with him and his window to earn life-changing money for his fights would’ve likely been much smaller.

    “I would never have had the career that I had,” he wrote. “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 shelf to challenge for the middleweight title at UFC 217. St-Pierre ultimately defeated Bisping via third-round submission before exiting from MMA entirely with his health and his legacy intact. It still stands today as one of the cleanest exits for an MMA legend in the sport’s history.

    “There’s a lot of people buried in the desert for much less than what I made for that fight, my friend,” St-Pierre wrote. “For the fight with Michael Bisping, with the pay-per-views, the sponsorship and all that, I made about $10 million. Then in 2019, I got out. I’m very lucky and very privileged that I finished on top. The reality is most fighters finish broke and broken. They hang there too long. They get brain damage. They go broke.

    “I’m very healthy and I’m wealthy. It’s very rare to find someone that hangs up his gloves and finishes on top like this.”

  • #2
    There is no union in the fight game
    That's actually something that the UFC (fighters) might need, I believe.

    I thought about it a couple of days ago when Ngannou tweeted that bit about what they have to do to get money they deserve.

    Since the UFC is essentially running on the NFL, NBA, MLB etc. model.They need some sort of fighter's association to protect the money and interest of the fighters.

    Since it is all in-house, closed door promotions. It's basically like the NFL more than Boxing, so to speak. Despite being a combat sport based company.

    Nice on GSP to get his just dues while still in the game. Getting PPV and gate revenue in his contract like boxers. That set him up for life. No wonder he was a "company guy" if you will. Never pushed against the grain during his time, iirc.

    Comment


    • #3
      The problem with a union is it would require all the top fighters to work but the top fighters are usually happy. If they're not happy they usually get there after a little back and forth with the UFC.

      It's everyone below the top that suffers. They're all replaceable so they have no leverage. The top guys won't unionize on behalf of fighters below them. That'd be like executives unionizing on behalf of janitors.

      GSP himself is a perfect example of this. He was linked to a possible union at one point and then got what he wanted from the UFC and dropped the union and everyone involved in it like a bad habit.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by henrykk123456 View Post
        The problem with a union is it would require all the top fighters to work but the top fighters are usually happy. If they're not happy they usually get there after a little back and forth with the UFC.

        It's everyone below the top that suffers. They're all replaceable so they have no leverage. The top guys won't unionize on behalf of fighters below them. That'd be like executives unionizing on behalf of janitors.

        GSP himself is a perfect example of this. He was linked to a possible union at one point and then got what he wanted from the UFC and dropped the union and everyone involved in it like a bad habit.
        Exactly, the top fighters are making all the cheese - except Jon Jones!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by OctoberRed View Post

          Exactly, the top fighters are making all the cheese - except Jon Jones!
          Jones was happy until he saw Francis become the champion lol. I bet he'd miraculously get back to being happy if Derrick Lewis somehow beat Francis.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by henrykk123456 View Post

            Jones was happy until he saw Francis become the champion lol. I bet he'd miraculously get back to being happy if Derrick Lewis somehow beat Francis.
            Or until he saw how much Jake Paul was making to fight retired UFC guys

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            • #7
              He didn't make more than 400K a fight. It's just like Floyd saying how much money he makes.
              deowal likes this.

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              • #8
                According some posters on NSB, GSP only made $100k a fight and he's broke now.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by OctoberRed View Post

                  Or until he saw how much Jake Paul was making to fight retired UFC guys
                  Except he started talking about it for the first time literally moments after Francis won and that was a month or two before Paul-Askren

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by henrykk123456 View Post

                    Except he started talking about it for the first time literally moments after Francis won and that was a month or two before Paul-Askren
                    But not before that payday Jake got for Nate

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