Nearly a month after winning a controversial decision in his title defense, UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre announced Friday his indefinite leave from the ring and his vacating of the title.
St. Pierre made the announcement during a conference call with the mixed martial arts federation before Saturday's UFC on FOX 9 event in Sacramento, CA.
The Montreal-native said it was time to take the break, which he had been considering before his bout with Johny Hendricks last month.
"Mentally, I cannot go through another training camp right now," St. Pierre said while still assuring he's "100 percent" physically.
He also stayed silent on a timetable for a return.
"I know the UFC's a business, and it can't wait on me. They have to keep things rolling, so I've vacated my title for the respect of the other competitors, and one day, when I feel like it, I may come back. But right now, I need a break," St. Pierre said.
St. Pierre was dogged with criticism over his controversial split decision win during the UFC 167 pay-per-view in Las Vegas. Nevertheless, the win on Nov. 16 was his ninth consecutive successful defense of the title, which he won outright in 2008.
St. Pierre is 25-2 in his career.
As for plans to determine the next welterweight champion, UFC president Dana White announced during the same call a title match between Hendricks and Robbie Lawler slated for the UFC 171 pay-per-view on March 15, 2014. The pay-per-view card was slated for Dallas, TX.
There will be more insight into St. Pierre's decision to leave the ring indefinitely during FOX5 Fight Night following UFC on FOX Saturday. Live coverage begins at 5 p.m.
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