Updated Nov 17, 2013 9:01 AM ET
Georges St-Pierre always has been stellar at crafting the surprise offensive. For years, the basis of his assault was dynamic striking, and then as he gained experience and grew to value finesse over power, he altered his preference to takedowns that relied upon confusing his opponent’s timing. He used these skills and traits to craft one of the great careers this sport has seen.
In 20 years of the UFC, celebrated on Saturday night, only a handful of men could even make an argument at matching what St-Pierre has done in the cage. But now, it might be over.
In another surprise flourish, St-Pierre announced Saturday after beating Johny Hendricks in a close split-decision at UFC 167 that he will hang up his gloves for the foreseeable future. At just 32, the man who has likely drawn the most money of any mixed martial arts fighter in history did not say whether he will return.
UFC 167: St-Pierre/Hendricks highlights
Rogan then pointedly asked him if he was retiring.
“I have to step away for a little bit,” he said. “That’s all I can say right now.”
He went into it a little more at the post-fight press conference:
At the press conference, UFC president Dana White was visibly upset at the premise that St-Pierre was potentially going to ask for an undetermined amount of time off without giving any other answers regarding his return or retirement from the sport.
White noted several times during the 30-plus minute press conference that fighters don’t get sabbaticals, much less champions who are the biggest draw in the entire company. Luckily, White had a chance to catch up with St-Pierre after the media session and a 15-minute conversation changed the UFC president’s entire view on what’s coming next for the welterweight champion of the world.
“His problems aren’t as bad as he thinks they are. They’re personal problems. We’ll get through this. I’m confident that he will (come back),” White said, adding that he expects St-Pierre to be able to give Hendricks an immediate rematch.
“I think everything’s going to be fine, I think everything’s going to roll just like it always does.”
- Georges St. Pierre Defeats Johny Hendricks In Controversial Decision At UFC 167 (PHOTOS/TWEETS) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Dana White: “Nevada Has The Worst Commision on the Planet, Johny Hendricks Won” (fightparrot.com)
- UFC 167: Georges St-Pierre wins by split decision (thestar.com)
- UFC head Dana White irate over Georges St-Pierre’s controversial victory (thestar.com)
- UFC 167: St-Pierre wins controversial split decision (thasportsjunkies101.wordpress.com)
- Dana White furious, strongly believes Johny Hendricks beat Georges St-Pierre (ftw.usatoday.com)
- UFC 167 Bonus Report: St-Pierre, Hendricks, Woodley, & Cerrone Pocket $50,000 (fightparrot.com)
- UFC 167 Results: How GSP’s Absence Will Affect MMA (bleacherreport.com)