Long-time UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre recalled his Octagon debut against Karo Parisyan in 2004, admitting he was paid just $3,000 to show.
St-Pierre retired as one of the richest fighters in mixed martial arts history after he headlined numerous blockbuster pay-per-views throughout his 13-year MMA career. Everything he earned inside the cage, plus sponsorships and movie roles along the way, and it’s easy to say why GSP is worth millions today. But while he is set for life now, it wasn’t always that way. Like other young fighters, GSP had to start from the bottom.
In January 2004, GSP made his Octagon debut at UFC 46 against Karo Parisyan. While GSP was a highly-touted prospect heading into the fight — he had gone 5-0 to begin his MMA career in the Montreal-based TKO and UCC promotions — he was not a proven commodity at the UFC level just yet.
While headliners Vitor Belfort and Randy Couture made well over $100,000 each to fight in the main event, another future UFC Hall of Famer in GSP fought for a measly $3,000 to win and $3,000 to show way deep on the prelims. Fortunately for GSP, he won the fight and collected the full $6,000.
On Wednesday, the UFC legend GSP took to social media to remember the time he made $3,000 guaranteed to fight in the Octagon. Here’s what St-Pierre shared on Facebook.
My first UFC fight at UFC 46 in 2004: My purse was $3,000 + $3,000 (win bonus) and everyone expected me to lose!
It’s amazing back to a time when GSP was fighting on prelims and making just $3,000 in guaranteed money to step into the Octagon. In 2020, the lowest-paid fighters on UFC cards make $10,000 to show and $10,000 to win. While the money is still low in MMA compared to other pro sports leagues, at least progress has been made in regard to show money of undercard fighters. After all, everyone has to start somewhere. Even GSP.
Where do you rank Georges St-Pierre in the list of greatest MMA fighters of all time?