Georges St-Pierre Doesn’t Regret Vacating UFC Championship, Unsure If He Will Ever Return

January 13, 2014
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Georges St-PierreLongtime champion Georges St-Pierre recently vacated the UFC welterweight championship, citing a need to get back to a normal life.

“I’ve been fighting for a very long time, at a very high level,” said St-Pierre. “It’s a lot of pressure. I know that UFC is a business. They have to keep things rolling, so I vacate my title.

“I need to have a normal life for a little bit,” he continued. “If I come back some day, I will be even better.”

That was nearly a month ago. St-Pierre has since posted a few times on social media, but has made few public comments about his last fight, his hiatus, or his thoughts of a possible return.

St-Pierre made a public appearance in Edmonton on Saturday, however, giving his most extensive comments yet since he stepped away to the Ottawa Sun. He added perspective to his decision to remove himself from the fight scene, but did little to reinforce the likelihood for a return to the Octagon.

“I’m 32 years old and this is the first time I have my Christmas with my family,” said St-Pierre. “I spent some time, but I never really had free time, total free time like I did [this holiday]. It was time for me to do it. I’m very happy I did it and I don’t regret any of it.”

It sounds as if his decision has been a good one for St-Pierre. The pressure of being a world-class athlete was a prime factor in relinquishing his belt. He realizes it’s something that comes with the territory, but it was also something that seemed to consume him, and he wasn’t enjoying it anymore.

“At the time, I thought it was the right time for me to do it. I had a lot of pressure,” he told the Ottawa Sun.

“People don’t realize how much pressure I have. It’s a lot of expectation. You take a lot of risk. You get so nervous because you care about it. There is so much on the line.”

At the time of the announcement, St-Pierre had been involved in 11 consecutive title fights, and hadn’t lost a bout since April of 2007. He wanted to attempt to live a normal life for a while to see if mixed martial arts could be fun for him again.

“I needed to take time off to relax, to feel better and to have fun to do it again if I ever wanted to come back,” said St-Pierre.

While he does seem to be enjoying his time away from the sport, appearing much more relaxed than he has in quite some time, St-Pierre did not clarify whether or not he expects to one day return to a career of prize fighting.

“I don’t give myself any preference,” he said. “There is a chance I will come back.”

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  • Brett

    It was such a great time to talk and meet GSP, such a classy individual took so many pictures with all the fans and really went out of his way for us all. Thanks so much for coming to Edmonton and the game last night!! He also mentioned during the press conference that he has future plans already set but can’t disclose them just yet. Really hope to see him come back and fight, but if not I hope he stays in mma as a trainer/coach at Tristar

  • Zartan The Destroyer

    He was never any good

    -Dana White

    • Fightfankevin

      Haha. Unless, of course, he decides to return, in which case he’s the greatest ww of all time. – Dana.

  • Brad Phillips

    true champ love him or hate him he has done great things for the sport we all love or love to hate if he does not come back he will retire as a champ and no one has yet done that in the ufc would like to no the real reason for him to stop fighting has it got something to do with what went on before the hendricks fight regarding the drug testing?

    • natpaukar7

      what was that all about?

    • Jose Hernandez

      Frank Shamrock retired as a champion from the UFC.

    • Sir_Roy

      He refuses to compete against the current crop of dopers (*cough* *cough* Hendricks). And refuses to inject in order to do so.

      • disqus_1vlWNfdPOM

        So wait a second, the speculation is that Dana and co. have allowed doping in order to make WW more competitive? Whats next, people will say Belfort only fights in Brazil because of doping?

        I say its time to allow the use of HGH and testosterone, but it should be monitored. If people start dying or getting injured frequently (reminds you of 2012 and 2013), then it will be clear that fighters are endangering themselves. Still their choice, though.

        • Sir_Roy

          They don’t have to “allow” it. All they have to do is continue to hide behind an inept commission and “excuse” it. In other words, continue to do exactly what they’re doing – nothing. I think Sonnen has it right – most everyone is doing it. Those, like GSP, who don’t are getting overrun and quickly losing what edge their natural athleticism and genetics had originally granted.

  • Kenny Powers

    He’ll come back, he’s gonna get bored with normal life and want to challenge himself again. Probly sometime in 2015.

  • solo

    Im glad he’s enjoying his new normal life. I admire him for carrying all that presure throughout the years, it takes a strong mind to do so. I cant imagine the feeling he had when all that fell from his shoulders. He probably felt like a free man after a long, long time. He did whats best for him. He followed his inner voice. After all, its all about making decisions for your own well-being. For now, “Rush” just don’t exists in his life. If he ever feels it again, he will come back. Until then…
    All the best George!!!

  • Big Tuna

    Good for him it’s a grueling life to return to. He can make the same coin doing stuff on the sidelines.

  • Paul Brennan

    His skills age and cardio are starting to wane against the current crop off dopers…good on him to retire rather than inject

    • Sir_Roy

      Emphasis on the word “dopers”. I can’t agree more. Hendricks in particular did not run into that fight “unmodified”. I tend to believe the whole push to have Hendricks test with him before the fight was GSP’s “silent” ultimatum. When the UFC refused to back his play, he told them in no uncertain terms that this sport was no longer for him. He wasn’t going to play the dope game and wasn’t going to see his legacy smeared because of a smart decision.

  • macarrech

    Good for him retiring while on the top. This is what Anderson Silva and Fedor Emelianenko should have done.

    • jim



    Mark my words. He will up the dose and come back fresh and strong as a middle weight. Giving up the belt, walking away allows time to not ever be tested so he can put on the necessary weight. Plus, once he takes so much time off and comes back in a new weight class the buzz is back for him selling tickets to see what he can do with bigger guys, yet there’s no real expectation for him to battle guys like Chael. So if he gets smashed then it’s not as big of a deal as he’s trying a new adventure versus people saying he needs to drop back down and fight to defend his belt instead of play with bigger guys in “super” fights. But if he wins and is good bigger, then the buzz goes crazy as now he’s going for another belt in another class, where his old belt never gets tainted because he “vacated” it (not like he had a choice, Hendricks would’ve crushed him in a rematch and he knows it). He’ll be back…just in another division!

    • Sir_Roy

      While styles do indeed make fights, and while Hendricks has a dangerous combination of skills for GSP to contend with, I don’t think Hendricks would have “crushed” him in a second bout. No way would GSP turn in a “worse” showing than his first. And it would have to be worse if you’re saying he’d get “crushed”. Unless you’re high enough to believe he got “crushed” in their first bout? Might have lost a close decision, definitely took more damage, but “crushed”? Nah.

      GSP would plan differently for a second Hendricks fight. He’s too smart a fighter not to.

      I know I’ll get smacked around for saying this, but looking at Hendricks physically in his fight with GSP, specifically at how his cardio went 180, and as neither fighter was (apparently) tested after their bout by the commission (GSP as we know was tested just prior), I’m unconvinced Hendricks was “unmodified”. Hell of a physical improvement to make at that level of competition in 6 months’ time.

      But yeah, that’s mere conjecture. Interesting take on the Middleweight speculation there I must say.

    • King_DG

      yeah I can see him coming back and facing Vitor Belfort, the battle of the TRT!! It was a good idea to step away before he gets popped for doping and will ruin what he has accomplished! He should stay retired, no need to get demolished by these upcoming beasts at 170

  • Fat Bloke

    If GSP does come back it’ll be interesting to see what he negotiates in terms of the number of fights on his contract and the frequency of his fights. I think the UFC expects at least 3 fights per year from a fighter, and also has to guarantee 3 fights per year to the fighter. I imagine GSP will want less and dictate terms on a fight by fight basis, unless his existing contract is still in effect.

    • Wolf Ticket

      Since GSP won that belt in 2007, he never fought more than twice in one calendar year.