It’s official, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre is vacating his title to take some time off from MMA.
“I’ve been fighting for a long time,” St-Pierre stated. “I have 22 fights in the UFC, and 15 were for a world title. I’ve been fighting a long time at a high level, a lot of pressure and criticizing. I’ve decided I needed to take some time off.”
St-Pierre is unsure when he will return though, so he has decided to leave the belt behind, opening the door for other welterweight contenders.
“The UFC is a business,” he said. “I’m vacating my title out of respect for the other competitors.”
“Definitely one day I will come back,” he added. “I’ll be stronger when I do, but it has to be on my own terms.”
In a conference call, UFC president Dana White agreed with GSP’s decision.
“I agree with Georges 100 percent,” White said. “I think it’s the right move.”
GSP won the welterweight title for the first time in 2006. He lost it to Matt Serra in 2007, but regained the belt the following year. Since then, he has defended it nine times in a row.