Georges St-Pierre always knew that he couldn’t fight forever.
As a result, the former Canadian welterweight champion always knew that he had to strike while the iron was hot and parlay his successful career inside the octagon into a lucrative one outside of it.
The Canadian secured mainstream sponsorships from Gatorade and Under Armour and is now advising other fighters to do the same. While current flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and current featherweight champion Jose Aldo Jr. have dominated their weight class just as GSP once did, they have not found the same out of Octagon success as the Montreal native.
On a recent edition of Chael Sonnen’s “You’re Welcome” broadcast, St-Pierre, was asked to give his advice on how to make the most of their time in the spotlight.
“One thing I can advise the professional athlete in mixed martial arts, you have to take it in a way that, you need to see your career as a business,” St-Pierre said. “I’m not qualified, I’m not competent for business because I’m a martial artist. I am competent to fight. So, when it is time to negotiate deals, or deal with my taxes or lawyer, I’m hiring the best people, the people I could find most competent for the job.”
The key for GSP was to land reputable representation from the Creative Artists Agency, but it took him awhile to figure that out.
“I don’t try to do this stuff myself or to pick one of my friends,” St-Pierre said. “A lot of fighters, they got caught up in those kind of things and I did myself as well, I had a lot of problems, I got different law disputes and stuff like that, I lost a lot of money. I made a lot of money, but I could have made way more. I’m lucky because it happened in the beginning of my career, and I learned from those mistakes.”
While the Canadian has protected himself and secured his future long after he leaves the sport, he says he can’t help but feel bad for other fighters who aren’t in the same position.
“Nothing breaks my heart more than in this world than to see an athlete who has an outstanding career and then when he is finished, he retires, he is broke,” St-Pierre said. “I heard that in newspapers in documentaries. I’ve seen it many times in football and MMA and it broke my heart. Please guys, make sure you are well surrounded, not by friends but by competent people.”
Tags: Georges St. Pierre, Mixed Martial Arts