Former UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre confirmed a temporary hiatus from MMA last week, vacating the title so that he can take a break from all of the pressure of competition.
As you might expect, the announcement sent shockwaves through the MMA community. After such a long and dominant reign, few expected GSP to give up his title and walk away, leaving his future in the sport uncertain.
FOX Sports had its UFC analysts break down the news.
“As a fighter, every day you wake up knowing that someone out there is preparing to destroy you. GSP is at the top of the mountain with all arrows pointing at him,” Kenny Florian said. “He has defended his position as champ for several years against the best in one of the toughest divisions in the UFC. He needs a break and I couldn’t be happier for him.
“I’ve spoken with Georges and he is in a good place now. He hasn’t slept this well in years. I expect him to be back when the urge is back and when a tough opponent emerges.”
“GSP has once again shown class and grace in his decision to vacate the title while he takes extended time away from the sport,” Brian Stann added. “He defines what everyone hopes to become as a martial artist, champion skills and character.”
“Georges St-Pierre is a man of conviction and I like that he stuck to his guns and made what I believe is a courageous professional decision” said Jon Anik. “If ever there were a UFC legacy that doesn’t need an additional chapter, it’s GSP and if indeed we’ve seen him grace the Octagon for the last time, he’s set the bar high for fighter’s greatness.”
Lastly, Chael Sonnen concluded, “When Dana and I sat down with GSP, we decided this was best for everyone.”