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

UFC 167: St-Pierre/Hendricks highlights
Watch highlights of Georges St. Pierre’s 5-round battle with Johny Hendricks.

UFC 167: St-Pierre/Hendricks highlights

“There was a lot of talk about what was going to happen,” he told Joe Rogan moments after the decision was read. “I have a bunch of stuff in my life happening. I need to hang up my gloves for a little bit.”

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.”



LAS VEGAS (AP) — Georges St. Pierre retained his welterweight title with split decision over top contender Johny Hendricks on Saturday night in UFC 167.

Hendricks seemed to have the upper hand over the Canadian champion for most of the five rounds, landing the more significant blows and limiting any damage inflicted.

St. Pierre was able to keep it close to extend his winning streak to 12 fights. Two judges scored it 48-47 for St. Pierre, and the third had it 48-47 for Hendricks.

“Without a doubt, this was my toughest fight,” said an emotional St-Pierre. “I wasn’t surprised at his ability. He was very good at conquering my game plan.”

While St-Pierre was able to secure a take-down and Hendricks landed a few short elbows while pressed against the cage, neither fighter had an advantage in the first round.

Hendricks came out strong in the second round, loading up on his punches and landing a few shots that wobbled the champion. St-Pierre was able to regain his wits and began to find his range toward the end of the round.

The two fighters stood toe-to-toe throughout the third round and as the fourth round came to a close, the champion appeared bloodied and battered while Hendricks seemed unfazed and confident, gesturing to the crowd as if he was in complete control.

“I thought I had won three of the rounds,” St-Pierre said. “I was hurt and at one point in the fight I got hit in the eye and couldn’t see. I was hurt.”

When the decision was announced, the pro St-Pierre crowd seemed surprised to hear the judges side with the champion.