UFC Champion Surrenders Title

Georges St-Pierre says he is taking a break from the fight game to deal with the overburdening issues of being champion.

On Friday, all the distractions of being one of Canada’s most famous athletes finally took their toll on Georges St-Pierre, as the UFC’s pay-per-view king announced a hiatus from the sport and vacated his welterweight title. He admitted he was no longer up for fighting in a cage. Although his body is in top physical shape, his mind is just not in the game, he claims.

“I’m completely obsessed,” he said of the way he approaches the fight game. However, that mental attitude did not do him justice once he stepped into the limelight. St-Pierre said his life has become a “freaking zoo” and “completely insane” when describing the pressures of being champion and in a constant limelight.

He also cited personal issues to his fall from glory but declined to elaborate. Montreal’s 32-year-old titleholder said, “Physically I’m 100 percent, I’m still young, I’m on top of the world. But mentally I just feel like I cannot go through another training camp right now and I don’t know when I will be able to.”

A title fight will be held on March 15th in Dallas between No. 1 contender Johny (Bigg Rigg) Hendricks and No. 3 (Ruthless) Robbie Lawler, said UFC president Dana White. “I think this is the right move for Georges St-Pierre,” White said. “You can hear by listening to him he’s got a lot of issues personally that he needs to deal with.”

A controversial split decision win over Hendricks last month cast doubt about St-Pierre and his future. After the fight, St-Pierre said he needed time away from the game to sort things out. White did not like the idea, in the aftermath of a controversial decision, but after talking to St-Pierre, he downplayed the drama.

“At the end of the day, it’s really not that big of a deal. The guy’s got some things that he needs to deal with. He was classy enough to say ‘I’m not going to jam up the 170-pound division while I deal with these things, I’m going to step aside and handle myself and then I’ll be back,'” White said.

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