Following one of the most storied careers in mixed martial arts, Georges St-Pierre has finally uttered the words that he waited so long to be sure it was the right time.
“Everybody knows, it’s not a surprise, I announce my retirement,” St-Pierre said at a press conference at the Bell Centre in Montreal. “There are no tears. I’m very happy to do it.”
Though St-Pierre seemed to unofficially retire following a split-decision victory over Johny Hendricks in November 2013, he never uttered the words. When asked, he constantly said that he had not made a final determination.
After nearly four years on the sidelines, St-Pierre returned to the Octagon to challenge Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 217. On Nov. 4, 2017, St-Pierre hit another milestone in his already Hall of Fame worthy career by becoming a two-division champion, something only a handful of fighters have ever accomplished.
That, however, will be the final time we see him fighting in the Octagon.
A short time later, citing health issues, St-Pierre relinquished the middleweight championship and decided he would not fight at 185 pounds again.
While St-Pierre pushed the UFC for a fight with current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov – a fight Nurmagomedov would like to take – the promotion doesn’t want a repeat performance of St-Pierre fighting for a title, possibly winning it, and then again walking away, as he did at middleweight.
St-Pierre is only interested in such “legacy” fights and doesn’t have the desire to make a run on a division, the way he did when he ruled over the welterweight division in his younger days.
Having watched numerous athletes and other fighters try to hang on to their glory days for far too long, at 37 years of age, St-Pierre wants the next chapter of his legacy to be retiring at the right time. He believes now is that time.
“I’ve said I want to retire on my own and not be told to retire. It takes discipline … you should retire on top, and that’s very hard to do,” said St-Pierre.
“The last person to know it’s time to retire is the fighter himself. In life, I don’t know what I want, but I know damn well what I don’t want. What I don’t want is I don’t want to retire too late,” he continued.
“[Fighting] is just a little part of me. I’m very happy to [retire].”
St-Pierre walks away from the Octagon as one of the most revered champions of all time. En route to a 26-2 record, St-Pierre held both the welterweight title and the middleweight championship. He holds the record for most wins in UFC title fights with 13, including a stretch where he defended his belt in nine consecutive bouts.
Georges St-Pierre is a lock for the UFC Hall of Fame. Don’t be surprised if he is inducted as soon as the UFC’s 2019 International Fight Week in Las Vegas.
Dana White hasn’t wavered on denying Georges St-Pierre a shot at Khabib Nurmagomedov
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