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Georges St-Pierre gives up UFC welterweight belt and takes indefinite leave

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According to a Dec. 13 post from Bleacher Report, Georges St-Pierre has decided to give up the UFC welterweight belt and take an indefinite leave of absence from the sport of mixed martial arts.

“I’ve been fighting for a long time,” St-Pierre said. “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, 32, did not provide a timetable for when he might return to action, but he also didn't officially retire. Time will tell how the situation plays out for St-Pierre.

"The guy's been here forever," UFC President Dana White said of St-Pierre. "This isn't some guy, like Jon Jones, who just burst on the scene...He's the greatest welterweight ever, and as far as working with us, there's nobody better...He handles everything like a professional. He really does."

White said Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler will fight in March for the interim UFC welterweight title, while St-Pierre sits out on the sidelines.

“The UFC is a business,” St-Pierre said. “I’m vacating my title out of respect for the other competitors.”

If St-Pierre is truly finished with MMA competition, he leaves the UFC as one of the greatest champions of all-time.

He left a lasting legacy that includes victories over some of the best welterweights to ever live, including Matt Hughes and Matt Serra.

St-Pierre last fought in the main event of UFC 167, where he won a close split decision over Hendricks. Many fight fans think he actually lost that bout, but the judges awarded him the win.

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