Following his UFC 167 title tilt against Johny Hendricks, Georges St. Pierre announced his plans to take a break from the brutal sport of MMA.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s president Dana White didn’t seem to like the idea of his biggest draw simply walking away from the sport, albeit temporarily, giving the long-time reining welterweight champion a verbal whipping during the UFC 167 post-fight press conference.
Thankfully, GSP (25-2-0, 8 KOs) wasn’t swayed by White’s harsh words, and just like he said after his fight against Hendricks, he will be taking a break from mixed martial arts.
“I’ve been fighting for a very long time [at] a high level,” GSP said during a Dec. 13 conference call. “It’s a lot of pressure and criticism, so I’ve decided I need to take some time off. … One day when I feel like it, I might come back. But right now, I need a break.”
Given his decision, St. Pierre will have to relinquish his welterweight title. That’s good news for guys like Hendricks and Robbie Lawler who will likely find themselves fighting for the 170-pound division’s title pretty soon.
“I know the UFC is a business, and they can’t wait for my little person,” St. Pierre added. “They have to keep things rolling, so I’ve vacated my title out of respect for the other competitors.”
Obviously, St. Pierre’s decision to take a break from MMA squashes all talks of a rematch against Hendricks — which would have probably turned out to be just as entertaining as their UFC 167 showdown, but given how much punishment the Canadian has taken ever since he returned from ACL surgery; it’s hard to hold his decision against him.
GSP was dropped for the first time in years during his UFC 154 showdown against Carlos Condit, which he won via unanimous decision, and his face was badly bruised and battered afterwards. Things didn’t go any better for GSP’s face during his next outing against Nick Diaz, and — definitely not — during his most recent outing against Johny Hendricks — which a decent number of MMA fans felt he lost.
It’s hard to tell if GSP’s ACL injury is responsible for his recent struggles inside the Octagon, or if age/cage mileage is simply catching up with “Rush.” Regardless of what’s responsible, a break from MMA will only make him a better fighter when he returns.
That is if he ever returns.
Regardless of what the future holds for GSP, he should be commended for standing up to the UFC’s brass, making his health and well-being his number one priority, and setting a good example for the many that will follow in his footsteps.