GSP Retires: A Look Back At The Canadian’s Record Breaking MMA Career

GSP leaves a legacy of greatness both in and out of the cage.

An MMA legend retired today.

Georges “Rush” St-Pierre announced his retirement from the sport today at a press conference in his native Montreal. It ended the speculation that St-Pierre would fight Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov at a catch weight.

“It takes a lot of discipline to become and stay champion,” said St-Pierre. “It also takes a lot of discipline to stop while still feeling that you’re in the best physical and mental shape of your life but I’ve always planned to leave the sport when I’m at the top and in good health.”

Widely considered the greatest welterweight champion of all time, he holds the record for the most welterweight title defenses at nine. During his time at the top of the weight class, St-Pierre earned spectacular victories over Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit, Jake Shields, B.J. Penn (twice) and Josh Koscheck (twice). He also avenged his sole losses to both Matt Hughes and Matt Serra. In November 2017, St-Pierre captured the middleweight championship with a thrilling third-round submission win against Michael Bisping.

“I also want to thank each of my opponents. All of them are incredible athletes who brought out the best in me. I retire from competition with great pride at having had a positive impact on my sport. I intend to keep training and practicing martial arts for as long as I live and I look forward to watching the new generation of champions carry our sport into the future.”

Behind The “Rush”

Born in the small municipality of Saint-Isidore, Quebec, St-Pierre was bullied throughout his childhood. He used this conflict as fuel to dedicate himself to martial arts.

St-Pierre cut his chops in the Canadian ranks through TKO MMA. Later he debuted in the UFC with a unanimous decision win over Karo Parisyan at UFC 46 in 2004. He won his first welterweight championship via knockout over Matt Hughes at UFC 65 in 2006.

After losing the title to Matt Serra, he recaptured the belt via TKO in their rematch at UFC 83. He then went on to secure nine consecutive defenses before stepping away from competition indefinitely.

Following a four-year hiatus, St-Pierre returned in November 2017 defeating Michael Bisping at UFC 217. The win made him a two-division champion.

In 2011, St-Pierre set the largest UFC gate outside the U.S. at $12,075,000 when he headlined UFC 129 at Rogers Centre in Toronto. The event currently holds the second largest attendance in UFC history with 55,724 fans. St-Pierre won Sports Illustrated Fighter of the Year in 2009. He was named Rogers Sportsnet Canadian Athlete of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He was nominated for the best fighter at the ESPY Awards in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2018. St-Pierre was also been featured in films Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Kickboxer: Vengeance.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.