MMA legend Georges St-Pierre announces retirement
One of the greatest mixed martial artists in the history of the sport has officially announced his retirement at a press conference in Montreal.
St-Pierre, 37, has stepped away from the sport for the second time and hosted a press conference in his native Canada to make his official statement to the media.
St-Pierre (26-2) is considered by many as the greatest fighter of all time and is recognized as the greatest welterweight of all time.
“There’s no tears. I’m very happy to do it,” said St-Pierre. “It takes a lot of discipline to retire on top. It was a long process in my mind, but it’s time to do it.”
Rush made a UFC record nine welterweight title defenses and is tied for second in UFC wins with Michael Bisping, the man he defeated in 2017 at UFC 217 after a four-year hiatus, to become the middleweight champion.
That would become his last fight after relinquishing the belt for health reasons related to ulcerative colitis.
GSP, as he was most commonly known, had previously walked away from the sport after a grueling battle with Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in 2013 in which he came away with a split-decision victory.
St-Pierre was a consistent fan favorite and became one of the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view draws throughout the 2000’s.
“I always said I wanted to retire on my own and not be told to retire. It takes discipline. In combat sports, that’s how you should retire. You should retire on top. That is very hard to do. I’m happy I have the discipline and the wisdom to do it,” said St-Pierre.
He was one of the first fighters to publicly voice his displeasure with the UFC over fighter pay and the absence of testing for performance enhancing drugs before the UFC aligned themselves with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
“Georges has cemented his legacy as one of the pound-for pound greatest fighters ever,” said UFC President Dana White. “He beat all the top guys during his welterweight title reign and even went up a weight class to win the middleweight championship. He spent years as one of the biggest names in MMA and remains one of the best ambassadors for the sport. He put Canada on the MMA map.”
St-Pierre made his debut in the UFC in 2004 and won his first welterweight championship in 2006 by defeating MMA icon Matt Hughes at UFC 65.
Hughes gave St-Pierre the first loss of his career at UFC 50 in 2004.
He would go to lose that title in his first defense against Matt Serra in what is still considered one of the biggest upsets in MMA history.
He avenged that loss to Serra and would never taste defeat again.
St-Pierre owns victories over Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit, and BJ Penn among others.
GSP was recently still training with acclaimed boxing trainer, Freddie Roach, and his name was constantly mentioned when possible match-ups with superstars Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov were discussed.
St-Pierre was angling for a bout with Nurmagomedov and the undefeated lightweight champion was interested, but both fighters have publicly stated that the UFC was not interested in making the bout.
While St-Pierre walks away as one the most decorated athletes to hail from Canada and apparently ends his fighting career in the best possible scenario, don’t be surprised if we see a third return as he teased that he would consider a comeback if he was made an offer he couldn’t refuse.