After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!
mma musings copy.jpg

Georges St. Pierre vacates UFC welterweight belt

GSP ecstatic after his fight with Hendricks and his decision to step away. Screen capture courtesy GSP's Twitter page.

Today UFC welterweight champion Georges 'Rush' St. Pierre announced he is vacating the title in order to take some time off and regroup, but indicated he may not return to fight in the Octagon. The announcement didn’t come as much of a surprise  after GSP told Joe Rogan after UFC 167 that he needed to step away.

GSP has held the belt nearly six years---since April 2008 when he beat Matt Sera in a rematch in Montreal to regain a belt he’d lost a year earlier. In that time GSP has had his critics. After his  2007 KO loss to Sera, the Canadian became more cautious and cerebral. Since TKOing Sera in 2008, GSP’s only other finish was v. BJ Penn in 2009. His other eight fights went to a decision.

The welterweight division has been one of the most stacked. Having the skills to defeat every challenger over that time frame is a feat in itself, but St. Pierre, despite the criticism, is the UFC’s largest regular PPV draw by far.  He has been and will be a great ambassador to the sport, and always conducts himself with grace and class, which can’t be said of all champions.

GSP highlighted the pressure of being champion for so long, and that his edge has been his obsession with his opponents. This obsession is what is making life difficult for him mentally. He was careful to point out he’s no victim.

“I chose to do this sport and now I choose not to.” He added, "Mentally, I just feel like I can’t go through another training camp right now and I don’t know when I’ll be able to. Emotionally I need this. I’m going to take a break. I need to have a normal life for a bit.”

Dana White, who was vehemently opposed to GSP’s comments after UFC 167, was more contrite today when he said, "His legacy is he is the greatest welterweight ever.”

White announced Johny Hendricks will now fight Robbie Lawler at UFC 171 in March.

While GSP held the door open to a return, the former champ has more money than he knows what to do with, movie offers, and nothing left to prove. Good luck champ.

Follow me on Twitter @RenkoStyranka





More in MMA Musings

Another high profile UFC veteran quits Dana White

Another high-profile UFC fighter quits Dana White.

UFC on Fox 12: Robbie Lawler defeats Matt Brown

Robbie Lawler wins a brawl over Matt Brown and a rematch against welterweight champion Jonny Hendricks.

UFC 175: Chris Weidman defeats Lyoto Machida

A champion and a former champion make each other dig deep in this stellar middleweight title match.
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.