UFC 217 was a special moment for GSP’s career, but he still decided to give away the title as a thank you to a friend.
After being out for four years, Georges St-Pierre moved up in weight and beat Michael Bisping to become a two-division champion and further cement himself among the sport’s all-time greats.
UFC 217 was such a special moment for GSP, who considers it as the “best night” of his career. Although it was an incredible milestone for the Canadian MMA star, it did not hinder him from continuing a tradition he started years ago — one that involves giving away the belt he just won.
This practice was detailed by Firas Zahabi in St-Pierre’s book that came out back in 2013.
“After each one of Georges’s title victories, he gives his belt away. He gives it to someone close to him, someone he feels helped him reach his goal. This is pure amazement to me,” Zahabi said.
“After his big fight in Toronto, in front of the biggest live audience ever to watch a UFC championship… They put the belt around his waist and he turned around and he whispered in my ear, “This one’s for you.”
“That was the biggest venue in UFC history, his crowning moment in history, and he wasn’t thinking about himself. He hadn’t been wearing the belt for more than five seconds… and he gave it away.”
St-Pierre has won 13 UFC title bouts in his career. While the career milestone of being a two-division champion would’ve been more than enough reason to make an exception, he still decided to give the belt to thank Victor Zilberman, the head coach of the Montreal Wrestling Club.
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