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Georges St-Pierre Vacates UFC Welterweight Title

Georges St-Pierre Vacates UFC Welterweight Title

UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre vacated his title Thursday afternoon during a special conference call.

St-Pierre, who made first mention of the possibility of his leaving MMA for the time being after defeating Johny Hendricks earlier this year, cited a desire to step away from the sport for the time being.

“I talked with Dana (White) and Lorenzo (Fertitta) about it,” GSP said. “I’ve been fighting for a long time, 22 fights in the UFC. I’ve been fighting for a very long time at a high level with a lot of pressure and I decided I need to take time off.”

St-Pierre said the decision to vacate the title was out of respect to the UFC and his fellow fighters, adding “I know the UFC is a business and they can’t wait for one little person. They need to keep things rolling.”

He did leave open the possibility of a return down the road, stating “one day, when I feel like it, I might come back. (But) right now I need a break.”

St-Pierre, 32 years old, is the winner of the only UFC champion vs. UFC champion match in promotion history, having bested rival BJ Penn in 2009. He is owns a UFC-record 19 wins and has spent over five hours competing inside the Octagon – also a record.

“I agree with Georges 100-percent,” White said. “He sat down and talked with us. This isn’t baseball or some other sport, this is fighting. You have to be 100-percent mental, physical and emotionally (there to compete). I think it’s the right move.”

ESPN honored him as a nominee for Fighter of the Year in 2008, ’10 and ’11, while Rogers Sportnet named him the Canadian Athlete of the Year three times (2008, ’09, ’10).

St-Pierre defeated both Penn and Matt Hughes in 2006, becoming the UFC welterweight champion for the first time. He dropped the title to Matt Serra in 2007 via first round TKO, but won it back later that year on an interim basis.

In 2008, he stopped Serra in Montreal via second round TKO to unify the belts and has held the title since, topping the likes of Jon Fitch, Dan Hardy, Josh Koscheck, Jake Shields and Carlos Condit.

Following his victory over Hendricks earlier this year, GSP stated a desire to take some time off from competing, addressing retirement rumors at that moment.

“Thank you to everyone in the UFC, Johny Hendricks….I have to go away for a little bit at least. I have some personal things happening and I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said in the Octagon after the fight. “I have to step away for a bit. That is all I can say. Later on (I) will make a point on that, but right now I got to go away for a little bit. I am very emotional right now.”

St-Pierre said he plans to continue training and live a “little bit more of a normal life.” He believes his “one day” he will be back competing.

  • THEGUNNER says:

    Gsp left a lot of people with a lose they ll never over. He beat everyone and anyone. even when a silva got ko ed I bet belfort, griffin and bonnor plus more got to see the man lose gsp never got ko ed even by j hendricks. Thats very impressive. I can imagine telling my grand kids about guys like gsp. On another note can anyone say condit vs hendricks for the title?

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Already announced Lawler vs Hendricks in March for the title. Sad to see GSP go but good for him, he is leaving on his terms and he more than earned it.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Good for GSP, not many realize when they need to step away. Also good on him for vacating the belt instead of holding up a division for a long time, unlike some other ‘champs’ we could mention…cruz.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Told y’all earlier this year GSP wouldn’t be around much longer.

    He had a hell of a run, and I’m glad he’s doing what’s best for him. Hendricks will have the belt soon.

  • Niv says:

    I think it’s the right move for GSP under the circumstances. I wish him well and hope to see him in the octagon again one day.

    Hendricks vs Lawler sounds like the UFC is trying to reward Hendricks with a title. I honestly don’t see Hendricks beating Condit in a 5 rounder, but that’s what I said before he fought GSP, hmmm.

  • raker says:

    Great to step away to take the time he needs although it certainly sounds like he will most likely return one day. The impression that I got was that he was feeling tremendous pressure and if he were to give an approximate return date then he would still feel the pressure of having to return at a specific time. I’m excited of the prospect of him making another title run. Maybe trying to recapture the belt will be a motivating factor and it would be quite entertaining as well.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I think they are just trying to give the belt to Hendricks Niv, despite what people may feel about his last fight, Hendricks lost. So it looks like 2014 the UFC will continue their new trend of awarding people fresh off a loss a title shot.

  • raker says:

    I would have liked to see a tourney. There are some great matchups in the WW division on deck right now and the winner could have decided the champ. Could take a year to do but it coulda been interesting.

    Hendricks v Lawler
    Lombard v Sheilds
    Macdonald v Maia
    Condit v saffedine

    Even without a tourney there’s no short gage of challengers for the next champ.

  • Screenplaya says:

    I am glad Georges made this decision. If he comes back some day, great, if not, it has been an absolute pleasure to have witnessed his greatness. He changed the game, and will go down in history as one of the greatest fighters who ever laced on gloves.

    And on top of that, we are left with a talented-filled weight class stuffed with fighters hungry for a title that has been on lock for more than half a decade.

    Good luck with whatever is next for you, Georges.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i’m glad for the guy. this is a tough sport, we only tend to look at the repercussions of concussions as things to be wary of, but there’s the damage to your organs from weight cuts and continuos body shots. our knees & backs were not designed to take this kind pressure constantly. our bones rarely heal 100% when broken.
    i’m 38 now, my right has had various breaks at least 7 times, i already feel the onset of arthritis and am using stuff to tend to it. my neck and my back are tended to by physios monthly, and have been for the best part of 10 years. my knees are fucked, i can’t run anymore, i can’t even squat. and i was never a proffessional sports man. admitted i don’t have the funds to treat anything correctly, but you get the point.
    our bodies get fucked very easily.
    gsp always seemed like a great guy, i hope he can find other things to fulfill his life instead of getting battered to make himself wealthy (and make other people even more rich).


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