Dress to impress?
According to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, dressing properly and acting like a gentleman inside and outside the Octagon, are among the primary reasons he has been so financially successful in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA).
Of course, his tremendous skills as a complete MMA fighter have helped somewhat, too.
St. Pierre, who makes anywhere from $4 to $5 million per fight, also does very well monetarily promoting his major sponsors that he obtained thanks in large part to his gentleman-like attitude that he portrays outside of the Octagon, as well as his GQ-like fashion sense, which can be seen on full display each and every time the champ is present at a pre- and post-fight press conference.
With more and more fighters like Light Heavyweight contender Rashad Evans and former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, just to name a few, following suit (no pun intended) St. Pierre says he was rocking his finest threads to press conferences long before it was cool to do so.
At least, that's what he told MMA Fighting:
"This is something that I've been doing since the beginning of my career. I wore a suit at press conferences when all the other fighters were making fun of me. (They said), 'Oh, look at St. Pierre, he doesn't wear his sponsor. I'm the one who first started doing this stuff, and I think the image and how you conduct yourself ... because the sponsor, the big companies in corporate America, they're not interested in sponsoring an athlete who is good in his sport but acts like an idiot outside of the Octagon. They want someone who performs well, of course, but acts like a gentleman outside of the Octagon. I understood that more than 10 years ago. That's why I behave the way I do and I do things that I do. That's why I have a lot of sponsors. I do have a lot of sponsors and a lot of money because of this. It brings money to the table. I'm in this business because I want to make it for a living, for money. People don't understand that. They used to make fun of me. Now 10 years after, now they start picking up on it. It's sad to see that it takes a long time for them to understand."
It's safe to say, no one is making fun of this French-Canadian these days.
"Rush," who is perhaps the biggest name in the UFC today with 205-pound champion Jon Jones not too far behind, has landed some of the biggest endorsement deals with major blue chip sponsors such as Gatorade and Under Armour clothing, two of the biggest, if not the biggest companies in their respective fields.
Should the 170-pound king continue his winning ways, expect more sponsors to be knocking at his door, looking to get a piece of the St. Pierre pie.
GSP is expected to face Carlos Condit, who is the current interim UFC welterweight champion, once "Rush" is fit to return to action following a string of injuries that have kept him out of action for the last nine months.
And he will be rocking his fining suit when it comes time to promote his fight with "The Natural Born Killer," who also has been known to wear his Sundays best at press conferences from time to time.