Former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre has walked away from fighting, vacating his long held title and leaving Johny Hendricks or Robbie Lawler to decide the next WW king. The news came as part of last night’s UFC conference call with the troubled Canadian.
The news has dominated the airwaves, and with good cause; GSP has long been considered the best Welterweight of all time and one of the best fighters ever, but is it really that surprising that he is walking away from the sport?
The reasoning behind St-Pierre’s decision to vacate the title is the need to repair himself mentally, but I think it s more than that. He said that he was physically 0, but I think the fight against Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz and Johny Hendricks proved that the champion has been far from tip-top for a while now.
GSP is undefeated in six years and 12 fights, his record speaks for itself. Injuries have plagued the former boss in recent times, only allowing him to compete four times in the last three years. In my opinion, St-Pierre hasn’t been the same since he fought Dan Hardy and Josh Koscheck back in 2010.
It should come as no surprise that the former champ is taking a leave of absence, especially when you consider that Condit and Hendricks were both close to finishing him in their attempts at the belt. If it really is St-Pierre’s mental state that is causing his sub par performances, then he should walk away from the sport.
UFC President Dana White said it best: “you have to be 100% physically, mentally and emotionally”-combat sports require such a high level of concentration and ability to perform under pressure, so why would he stay to fight yet another hungry contender?
The truth is I like it better this way. St-Pierre will have to come back as a contender, and that might be the only way that we ever see him at his best again. In a cruel twist of fate, it is the very title that made him a legend that has began to break him.
With a new champ, GSP would have to fight for prominence in a talent heavy pool. Perhaps it would be better for GSP to go out on a loss in the twilight of his career without losing his title in dramatic fashion. Either that or he comes back stronger and more passionate than ever and goes out on top, again. Whatever the case, I salute you GSP, you scary French robot man.