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UFC Welterweight Champ Georges St-Pierre Takes Indefinite Leave, Relinquishes Belt

Posted on by Ken Pishna

Georges St-PierreThe smoke swirling around UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has finally cleared… somewhat.

It may not be exactly what anyone wanted to hear, but St-Pierre is relinquishing his UFC welterweight championship belt. But, he’s not retiring, not yet anyway.

In a Friday conference call with the media, St-Pierre revealed that he is taking some time for himself and stepping away from the sport that he has come to dominate.

One of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, St-Pierre is still human, and as such, he has elements of his life that he wants to address. And that, he says, necessitates taking an indefinite leave of absence from the fight game.

Retirement rumors began to swirl in the weeks leading up to his UFC 167 fight against Johnny Hendricks. St-Pierre won a split-decision victory over Hendricks, causing controversy in and of itself. GSP didn’t retire following the fight, but his comments fueled even more controversy, when he said he needed to walk away from mixed martial arts for what he referred to as “a little bit.”

“There was a lot of talk about what is going to happen,” St-Pierre said at UFC 167, standing in the middle of the Octagon after his main event fight. “I am going to hang my gloves up for a little bit and make sense of my life. I have to go away for a little bit at least. Personal things are happening.”

On Friday, he made the intended leave of absence official.

Not able to divulge a definitive timeline for how long he needs to step away for, and having fought just four times in the past three years, St-Pierre realized that he couldn’t expect the UFC to sit back and wait. Thus, he agreed to relinquish his belt.

“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.

“One day, I may come back, but right now, I need a break… but I don’t want to make other people wait.”

In making his announcement, St-Pierre sounded as if the pressure of fighting at such a high level for so many years had just worn on him.

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

St-Pierre heads into his sabbatical with a 25-2 overall record, and 19-2 in the UFC.

Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com as further details emerge.

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  • Chicago

    going to sit right here and wait for all the comments hating on GSP to start rolling in.

    • Ian Price

      I respect his decision. I wish he’d fight for another 10 years, but what can you say? He needs a break.

    • taylor2008

      I like GSP, but he knows Hendricks gave him a beating and would probably do worse in the rematch. GSP has the right to step away. I dont like Dana saying that he “owes” the UFC more fights. GSP doesnt owe anyone anything. He has been one of the best Welters ever.

  • bajafox

    I can’t stand him, but I respect his decision. He did the right thing releasing the belt and clearing things up.

    Who knows, I may even miss him…

  • robc

    Good for him. Retire on top while still healthy without brain damage. He has beaten everyone the UFC put in front of him. He apparently is wealthy enough to step away.

    • bajafox

      He never said he was retiring. He’s taking an indefinite break, two very different things.

      • claudale

        not that different actually. His indefinite break may never end while others have come out of retirement.

    • Ian Price

      No brain damage? Yes, he will, but we won’t know the effects till later in life

  • yup,yup,yup,mmmhmmm

    think about it…. matt huges, matt serra, and the others where fighting the same time gsp was.. it has been a long time and im glad he can stand up to dana and say, hey i need a fucken break. and since your going to cry here is the belt.gsp deserves it. at least it wont be another dominick cruz.. rest up georges..

  • Tattedninja

    Happy for GSP, he has nothing else to prove…Rest you deserve it. God bless.

  • Usmc8408

    We don’t have the right to know why he’s doing it, he has his reasons. But he knows and we know, he lost his heart. Nothing wrong with it, it happens. He was very classy stepping down and giving others a chance. So what if he’s done….his life , his choice

    • Jay Mcgarrity

      Although I like your sentiment and see where you’re coming from, I disagree. The fighter and fan relationship is a give and take. GSP has given us years of entertainment, exciting fights(mostly), and shown us what it is to be a champion in the sport. In return, his fans have built him up to be one of the GOAT by purchasing tickets to his shows, buying his PPV, purchasing his merch, and so on. The fans help build GSP into the icon that he is today and in the process helped make him filthy rich. If he decides he’s going to just walk away, we are owed an explanation and GSP will give us one. I’m not saying people can demand it or that he has to tell us right away, just that he has to. GSP knows this and I’m sure he will talk about it thoroughly in his own time.

      • Austin, TX

        He owes nobody anything man. Nothing. Zip. Notta g*d damn thing. In fact a lot of people probably owe him something in the scheme of things actually…. you know what I’m sayin man. He explained himself already. Read the article again. He said he’s tired and wants to have a personal life basically. Read it again. There’s nothing wrong with going out on top. I think its pretty funny actually. I was kinda hoping he would. there’s a lot of different articles on it, not just this one.

        • Jay Mcgarrity

          Yea I see, the explanation is a little empty though. There’s probably more to it and I feel like he will divulge when he makes his unlikely return or decides to make his retirement official. I’m not saying he owes us another fight like Dana was saying, I’m just saying he owes us a full explanation eventually if there is more to it. It would be one of the coolest things ever if he were to come back and win the title again but I think he’s more or less decided he’s done for good but just doesn’t feel like getting into it with the fans and media quite yet.

          • Austin, TX

            Yeah. quite possibly. Its interesting. I don’t see him back either.

  • Tee Hill

    Yea, he’d do ANYTHING to NOT haft to face Johnny Hendrix again. He knew he couldn’t get around it, because we all kno Dana White doesn’t f*** around with these dudes. He wasn’t gonna be allowed to fight nobody else UNTIL they rematch. Because he knows Hendrix beat the dog s*** outta him & he wants NO PART of him again. U see his f***** FACE after the fight? He got his ass busted up, judges CHEATED, Pierre knows he got away with it, he knows he wouldn’t get away with it TWICE, So what does he do, HE QUITS!!! Ur a fuckin Coward, a PUSSY, u sent a lotta guys home defeated during your run, but quitting after u CHEATED win takes away what Hendrix deserves, a REMATCH! You owe that to him & The fans & the UFC. Fighting only 2times in almost 3yrs. When u UN-RETIRE u still shouldn’t be allowed back until u FIGHT HENDRIX U BITCH!!!

    • Rob

      Here come the morons.

      • dgs

        Calling this douche bag a “moron” is an insult to morons everywhere.

    • hybe

      stop smoking the crack, or are you for real??! hahaha

    • Theinstruction.com

      He has fought 3 times in last 2 years? You would have no clue the types of pressure success brings period, let alone on that level. For one, your wrong on how many fights he’s had the last 2 years and two, your statement about him being a coward is an old antiquated caveman like way of thinking. Your emotional IQ has got to be incredibly low. This is what separates the true MMA fans and fighters from any other sport in the world. It’s why MMA and the UFC is growing exponentially. The top fighters you see in the UFC are not only bad ass athletes but incredibly intelligent. Intellectually and emotionally which is why they are where they are. It’s the evolution of fighting asshole.If your going to speak in the forums of any MMA site. Please make sure it’s a half way intelligent comment.

      • Mike mckinney

        I agree with pretty much everything you were getting at, but people really need to learn what “exponentially” means. Even if the UFC were growing exponentially you’d never know it without access to their books. You’d have to know exact figures.
        Sorry, I’m not the “grammar police,” it’s just a pet peeve of mine when people use “big words” incorrectly.

        • George Sperry

          Big words? Even small words. How many people used “your” when they meant “you’re”?
          I can’t tell if people no longer know the difference in the words.

          • Mike mckinney

            The small words don’t bother me as much. The only reason to use bigger words, seemingly would be to come off as smarter.
            At least the people improperly using small words are not trying to masquerade as bright.

    • connerjames00

      Your a tool. Go jerk off to your animé and leave the conversations to the grown ups

    • Kyle McKee

      You don’t know the first thing about MMA. Just…stop.

    • Haft

      I stopped reading after “haft.”

    • Gary Fredericks

      You’re wearing a hat like that in your profile pic and you’re calling GSP a “BITCH”???

      …….BWAAAAAAAHAAAAAAHAAAAAHAAHAHAHAHAHA

      • Jay Mcgarrity

        Even though the way he said it was ridiculous and uncalled for, doesn’t mean that there isn’t some truth to it. Only GSP knows how much of a factor that fight played into his decision but we do know for GSP’s mentor, it was a huge factor and he is in GSP’s head also. Talking s*** about a guys profile pic while remaining anonymous yourself is just as bad as what he’s saying. Pot kettle black

    • Jay A Nokay

      Yeah, I wouldn’t blame GSP for the judges scoring it. I had it the same way, but you have to understand, with the amount of punishment these guys take in training and in combat they don’t have a great career longevity. (This is championship level MMA, they are capable of killing eachother.)

      As far as GSP retiring, this is a smart move for his personal health, I know there is a million just bleed fans who say, GSP OWES US, gsp owes you ****. He’s out there putting his fucking life on the line just to entertain. Imagine, he’s taken more hits in his last 3 fight in the ufc, than he did in his first 19 combined. That takes a SIGNIFICANT FUCKING TOLL ON YOUR BRAIN.

      GSP should stay retired, and let the next generation of fighters define the division.

    • TeeHillSucksHisMommasAnus

      What did he say? As soon as I saw that Micky Mouse Ears Hat I didn’t even bother to read…LOL…these people always bitching about what they do not understand…LOL…Go back to the Micky Mouse Club where you escaped from moron!

    • Austin, TX

      So I guess by that logic you hate mr “Got his ass whipped dont want to face him again” Jon Jones and his ducking the Gus rematch.” Mr “had to be carried out of the arena on a stretcher and went straight to the hospital with his face like a down syndrom baby?” Yeah? Probably not.

    • Retard

      Inventing your own language? Niggerese?

      • AJ Pyatt

        your ignorant retard was a fitting name u chose sir

  • sickofthelnpfighters

    about time he gave up Hendricks belt. now he gets to defend it. so long king of the lnp you won’t be missed

    • Rob

      Won’t be missed? Lets see Hendricks put up GSP numbers.

      • connerjames00

        Totally agree with you,I was thinking the exact same.

    • hybe

      haha! what a tool! and it’s not Hendrick’s belt til he wins it!

      • sickofthelnpfighters

        he won it and EVERYONE know it fool!!!

        • King of The Couch

          Except for the people that actually score a fight by the official criteria and not by superficial damage.

  • taylor2008

    GSP has the right to do that. He has been in some wars and it was obvious Hendricks beat the s*** out of him. He knows this time around Hendricks would do worse. Hendricks is a scary dude at 170. Top wrestling skills with KO power. And he seems like a nice humble guy.

    • hybe

      I don’t think he knows that! I don’t think he even considered what would happen in a rematch! Him stepping away from mma has to do with other things obviously.

    • claudale

      I think this was his one and only war. LOL. But he went out with a bang. I’m sure Dana pestered him into vacating or fighting so he went with vacating.

  • Bellboy

    Later georges gay n prey, you may have dominated but u bored the s*** out of me like watching England play football. Don’t come back nob sack!!!

  • MMAFAN

    Haha whoaa, easy bud. Looks like someone’s mother didn’t do a very good job on this one.

    • MMAFAN

      This was supposed to be under Tee Hill, lol whoops

  • Bellboy

    Later Georges gay n pray u bored the life out of me was like watching england play football!!! Don’t rush back

  • BillyMadison

    Hendricks won’t string together more then a couple wins in a row fighting the top WW’s. Lombard will run right through hendricks…lawler probably beats hendricks. Some people on here are not real MMA fans saying some of the things they are about GSP..No one in the next 20 years will do what GSP has done at WW..Same goes for MW and what Silva has done..

    • hybe

      totally agreed, except for maybe the Lombard part.

      • Gary Fredericks

        Yup. Change Lombard to Lawler and I agree too.

      • BillyMadison

        Lombard is a beast at 170…I think you will change your mind after his next fight..He probably has the best hands at WW. Fast and powerful..and not just one dimensional like Hendricks and his left hand..

  • connerjames00

    Enough with the ridiculous comments saying Gsp is scared. Do you idiots even think before you say such things. Gsp got his lunch fed tohim against Hendricks for 2 rounds end of story..its a points game when it goes to cards

  • tipsyhippy

    bye!

  • diazfan209

    GSP is class personified. He could have easily let this drag out until the UFC gave him an ultimatum, but he didn’t & he made the best decision for himself. None of us can full understand it because we’re not GSP.

  • King_DG

    man that sucks, I was looking forward to GSP vs Hendricks 2. Hopefully he comes back later in 2014.

  • shakejunt

    georges, you had a sick run. thanks for all the great, and not so great, moments. can’t help but feel this is the wrong way to go out though.

    • Jay A Nokay

      This is the best way out. Retire on top.

      I agreed with the judges scoring the first round 10-9.

      It’s the best move for his personal health, and his career, he has money and fame, and sponsors. Thank you for your run GSP! Now please let the next generation of killers fight it out.

  • GSPRules

    Hendricks won’t be winning the belt…Lawler will KO him or win a split decision over him to fulfill the Karma on Condit and Koshcheck. Hendricks will not be champ and if by any misfortune he becomes one, he’ll only wear the belt once since he’s not that good.

    Farewell GSP! Whether you come back or not, thanks for all the class you displayed and all the greatly executed game plans you gave us. You will always be the measuring stick for future champs as to how to behave and how to execute game plans!

    Best wishes to you man!

    LOL Now Hendricks won’t be able to get that itch off his ass – it’ll be there always, the “I could’ve knocked GSP with more handwraps, but couldn’t and won’t get another chance to do it.” LOL It’s gonna be a permanent itch in his ass, worse than a hemorrhoid…LOL The itch will become even worse when a new champ emerges and none accomplishes what GSP accomplished and the comparisons point to “Nobody has done what GSP was able to do.” Start scratching Hendricks, scratch ’til you bleed! LOL I hope you get KO’ed you sore loser!

    • Jay A Nokay

      LOL! if only GSP would stay retired!

    • s

      That was a sad rant. You need a hug.

  • Tig Byson

    As always, it’s the money. He recently lost a lawsuit to a former manager and now must pay a high percentage of future fight earnings to her. It simply makes sense to leave at this point until they can renegotiate with the ex-manager and come up with something worth fighting for, so to speak.

  • XIRand0mHeroIX

    You guys saying GSP is scared or Hendricks would kill him in a rematch are delusional. You clearly don’t know Georges work ethic. This is a guy that took a weakness wrestling, and became one of the best wrestlers in the game. Now I find his fights super boring and I hate the his last finish was BJ Penn 4-5 years ago but you can not take away the fact that he is one of the best and it will be a long time before we see a reign like his again. Instead of hating the man show some respect. Fighters of his caliber are not dime a dozen and it will be a long time before we see anyone as dominant as he was.

    • XIRand0mHeroIX

      By the way you people calling for Hendricks will be the same ones ina year from now if Hendricks getsa good steak going saying “he only won the belt because GSP quit”

    • AJ Pyatt

      I dont think so jones has been very dominate for decent amount of time now and i dont see that ending anytime soon he is very young and constantly getting better i know it is a ways off but i dont think as long as your making it seem. And cain velasquez onlu has one loss and he was sick during that fight and fought anyway so he is great. Not saying either of those guys will have those kind of reigns but its looking very possible.

  • GSPRules

    Maybe Nick Diaz will come out of retirement and face the current WW’s LOL

  • Corey Hutton

    I hope he never comes back, **** Dana White

    • King of The Couch

      This is a tough one. On one hand I want to give you a downvote for hoping he never comes back. On the other I want to give you and upvote for “**** Dana”. Oh the dilemma.

  • Timothy Malone

    This sucks. One of the GOAT, would have liked to see what kind of title streak record he could have racked up if he had kept going.

  • Kwang Wang

    Good riddance no more 25 minute snooze-fest.

    • King of The Couch

      Typical “fan” who is more interested in seeing a bar fight than and MMA contest.

    • Tony

      I agree! Don’t worry about the D-Riders that are hating on your comment. lol I’m with ya my dude.

  • JDMMA

    GREAT DECISION !!! by George “The Decision” St. Pierre

  • Tony

    I hope he comes back. I was hoping to see someone finish him. A nasty KO or a sub would be great.

  • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

    I don’t think he’s coming back because the guy was out for a year with an injury. He might have came back to take on the new challengers like Condit, Diaz and Hendricks and now feels it’s really time to take a break from interviews and fight camps. If Rory McDonald becomes champ I really don’t see him coming back. Maybe he can enjoy life away from the business side of fighting for a while and possibly get that hunger again watching the sport or hearing people talk about a new fighter. Either way I don’t care what anyone says the guy was a true martial artist and took on every top contender thrown at him.

  • Milosc

    I think he’ll come back at 185

  • envel707

    Im glad he retired on top if he feels done. Who wants to see him loose over and over like chuck and other great champions. Good choice Gsp. It’s nice have him to not hold up the whole division and be a man about it and make the choice himself instead of trying to hold onto the belt forever like a dominic cruz or matt serra when it should have just been stripped