Georges St-Pierre will leave UFC indefinitely, give up welterweight title

Georges St-Pierre is going away for a while and he’s not
sure if he’ll ever return.

The UFC welterweight champion will be giving up his title and
leaving the organization for an indefinite about of time, he
announced Friday during a media conference call. GSP, who has held
the belt for six years, never mentioned the word
“retirement” and left the door open for a potential
return in the future.

“One day when I feel like it, I might come back,”
St-Pierre said. “But right now I need a break.”

With St-Pierre gone, the UFC’s welterweight division will
move on without him. Johny Hendricks will fight Robbie Lawler at
UFC 171 on March 15 in Dallas for the vacant title, UFC president
Dana White said on the conference call.

“I don’t want to make nobody wait,” St-Pierre
said. “I want to [come back] when I feel like it. I’ll
become stronger when I will. It has to be up to me. It has to be on
my terms.”

(GSP’s personal issues led the long-time champion to an
indefinite hiatus)

GSP, 32, repeatedly said he needs to get away from competing and
lead a “normal life.” He still plans on training at
Tristar Gym in Montreal and helping the fighters there prepare for
their bouts. But he will no longer have to deal with the
“pressure of competing,” which he becomes obsessed
with.

White said it’s more about St-Pierre’s personal
issues, which GSP refused to speak about on the card, much like he
didn’t after beating Hendricks at UFC 167 when all this
speculation began. All St-Pierre would say Friday about it is that
his personal life is “like a freakin’ zoo.”

“You can tell by the way he talks that the issues he deals
with outside the Octagon are driving him nuts,” White said.
“He’s obsessing about them and they’re driving
him crazy.”

St-Pierre said if he never returns he’s satisfied with his
legacy and how he attempted to elevate the sport of MMA worldwide.
White added that GSP is the greatest welterweight of all time.

And if he does return, St-Pierre said he’ll come back
better than ever, ready to win the belt he’s about to give up
once again.

“I love my sport,” St-Pierre said. “I’ve
never been a victim of anything. I choose this life. Nobody ever
forced me. As much as I choose to do it, now I choose to not do it.
It’s my life.”