NEW YORK -- Some might say Georges St-Pierre is professional to a fault. Heck, it feels like the last time the UFC welterweight champion said anything remotely negative about an upcoming opponent was his infamous "I'm not impressed by your performance" moment.
So in the wake of major UFC sponsor Anheuser-Busch warning the promotion that it would take action if fighters wouldn't conduct themselves more professionally, MMAFighting.com asked St-Pierre on Friday whether he thinks it's time his fellow fighters cleaned up their acts.
"This is something that I've been doing since the beginning of my career," St-Pierre said. "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 ten 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."
And one of those sponsors is Mission Athletecare's new EnduraCool towel, which also sponsors tennis star Serena Williams and NBA great Dwight Howard. GSP was in town to promote the brand at Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in Manhattan. They're another notch on GSP's mainstream sponsorship belt, along with the likes of Gatorade and Under Armour, and he believes it's no coincidence that he is sponsored by the most blue chip companies in the sport.
"I'm in this business because I want to make it for a living, for money," he said rather passionately. "People don't understand that. They used to make fun of me. Now ten years after, now they start picking up on it. It's sad to see that it takes a long time for them to understand."
St-Pierre is still hoping to return to action in November following knee surgery late last year.