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08th Nov 2017

Georges St-Pierre gives new middleweight belt away to old wrestling coach

Darragh Murphy

In case you hadn’t heard, Georges St-Pierre is back.

The welterweight legend joined an exclusive club on Saturday night by becoming just the fourth fighter in UFC history to claim a world title in two different classes.

St-Pierre now stands alongside the likes of Randy Couture, BJ Penn and Conor McGregor as fighters to have accomplished that incredible feat.

And now that St-Pierre has returned, following a four-year break away from the sport, so too has one of the loveliest traditions in mixed martial arts.

‘Rush’ has upheld his usual practice of giving away his championship belts after choking Michael Bisping unconscious for the UFC middleweight title on Saturday night.

As the crowd filtered out of Madison Square Garden, St-Pierre remained in the centre of the Octagon, drinking in what he subsequently referred to as “the best night of my career.”

And just days after the Canadian’s hand was raised in the main event of arguably the greatest card in the promotion’s history, St-Pierre continued his admirable tradition of giving his belt away to someone who means a lot to him.

Victor Zilberman, head coach of Montreal Wrestling Club, was the beneficiary on this occasion but he’s one of many to now own a belt earned in battle by St-Pierre over the years.

GSP’s head coach, Firas Zahabi, revealed that his star pupil doesn’t keep any of his championship belts in an extract from his 2013 book, via

“After each one of Georges’s title victories, he gives his belt away. He gives it to someone close to him, someone he feels helped him reach his goal. This is pure amazement to me,” Zahabi said.

“After his big fight in Toronto, in front of the biggest live audience ever to watch a UFC championship… They put the belt around his waist and he turned around and he whispered in my ear, ‘This one’s for you.’

“That was the biggest venue in UFC history, his crowning moment in history, and he wasn’t thinking about himself. He hadn’t been wearing the belt for more than five seconds… and he gave it away.”