Georges St. Pierre, known simply as “GSP” to UFC fans, is stepping away from the sport of MMA according to this article from 13 December. GSP is leaving the sport as unquestionably the greatest welterweight all time and quite possibly as the greatest MMA fighter of all time.
GSP first won the UFC’s welterweight title (170 lbs.) in 2006, only to lose it to Matt Serra in his first title defense. From there, GSP went on a winning streak that saw him win back his title and successfully defend it nine times, culminating with a much disputed decision victory at UFC 167 in November, 2013.
Immediately after the fight GSP explained that he would be stepping away from the sport for at least a short time and maybe forever. He made his intentions more clearly known on Friday, explaining that his life “is a zoo” and that he was relinquishing his hard-earned title. This abdication of his title clears the way for the UFC to pit Johny Hendricks, who GSP beat at UFC 167, to face Robbie Lawler for the welterweight title in March.
GSP ends his title run at a good time. He has spent more time fighting in the Octagon than any other fighter in UFC history. There is no telling the amount of damage that he has suffered both to his body and brain as the result of so many tough battles.
GSP has been a great ambassador for MMA and the UFC. He treats his opponents and the sport with respect and has stayed clear of any of the negative press that seems to capture so many young and successful athletes and entertainers. He deserves the opportunity to go out on his own terms and has earned everything that he has achieved in the sport.