Georges St-Pierre was one of the most dominant fighters, and biggest stars, of what we consider to be UFC 2.0 — after the days of freakshow spectacles and one-night tournaments and into the Zuffa-owned era of regulation and growth. Along with the likes of Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell, GSP helped turn the UFC from an underground attraction into a billion dollar legit enterprise.
Then in 2013, he abruptly walked away from the sport, while still the welterweight champion. He claimed he was burnt out from the grind, and worried about the lack of strict drug testing in the sport. He never claimed it was a “retirement” though, always leaving the door open for a return. In early 2017, GSP made headlines by announcing he was indeed going to finally return to the UFC. To celebrate his impending return, we took a look at some of his most famous and memorable moments.
It all had to start somewhere. After going 5-0 in local Quebec-based MMA promotions, GSP made the jump to the UFC in 2004 when he was just 23-years-old. Fighting under the bright lights of the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas at UFC 46 was profoundly different than fighting in front of a couple hundred people at Montreal’s Verdun Auditorium.
The young Canadian made the most of his debut, though, winning an unanimous decision over Karo Parisyan. Ironically enough, the man who would turn into one of the biggest PPV draws in MMA history was buried on the preliminary UFC 46 undercard for his debut, so hardly anyone actually saw it. Two of GSP’s future welterweight foes, B.J. Penn and Matt Hughes, fought for the title in the co-main event on the same night.