UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre started the GSP Foundation to benefit at-risk youth. GSP also met with a young man who was in a wheelchair before beating Matt Serra at UFC 83:
“I want to use my name, my credibility, and my stature as a professional athlete in mixed martial arts to help the young kids. I’m going to focus on the kids and the teenagers because growing up I had problems, and if I can help somebody who was like me when I was young, it will make their lives better.
GSP's opponent on several occasions, Matt Hughes, has also shown his commitment to charity. He helped wire and pour the foundation for Christian orphanages in Mexico.
Many fighters feel a special kinship with the armed forces, and have visited the troops at different spots around the world. WEC champion Urijah Faber visited Afghanistan earlier this year. Kenny Florian went to Iraq last July. Rich Franklin, still sporting a black eye from UFC 88, went on a military tour with Tim Sylvia. The UFC has followed their fighters' leads and scheduled an event to benefit the troops at Fort Bragg.
It's easy to get down on the fighters -- heck, I do it all the time -- but it's good to remind ourselves from time to time that these men and women are more than just striking, grappling, submitting machines.
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