If you thought the UFC and Georges St. Pierre might pull a fast one today and announce that he’s fighting Johny Hendricks in the coming months, then you were wrong. Instead, as GSP relayed after his controversial win over Hendricks at UFC 167, the star has confirmed he’s taking a break from fighting. In addition, St. Pierre announced he’s vacated the welterweight title.
Here was what the 32 year-old had to say in his opening statement:
“I’ve been fighting for a long time, at a high level, and it’s a lot of pressure, a lot of criticism, and I’ve decided that I need to take time off. I know the UFC is a business, and it can’t wait on for my person, they have to keep things rolling, so I’ve vacated my title for my respect for the other competitors. One day, when I feel like it, I might come back, but right now I need a break.”
As a result, Dana White announced that Johny Hendricks will fight Robbie Lawler for the vacant title, March 15th, at UFC 171. The championship fight will go down at the American Airlines Arena. How about that for a title fight huh?
St. Pierre largely emphasized the pressure of being champ as the reason why he’s walking away from fighting, but did acknowledge there are some personal issues in his life he needs to address. Not surprisingly, he did not provide any details as to what they are.
The now, former champ, also stated that he’s completely healthy from a physical stand-point, but that he needs to have a “normal life for a bit.” GSP also noted that he will continue to train and improve his skills, but stopped short of saying he’ll fight again for certain.
So, there you have it. Clearly GSP fans are hoping that the P4P contender will return at some juncture, but there’s a chance the fighter’s storied career has come to a close. The fighter walks away from the welterweight belt after defending it 9 times, which is one victory away from Anderson Silva’s title defense record of 10. GSP is currently on a 12 fight win streak and carries an overall record of 25-2.
Regardless of what happens from here on out, it’s been an amazing ride.