Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White and UFC Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre held an emergency phone conference today (Dec. 13, 2013) to announce that St. Pierre will be taking an indefinite hiatus from the sport and thus will be vacating his title that he's held since 2007.
"Rush" explained that between issues in his personal life and the pressures that come with being champion, he needed time to step away and mentally reset. He didn't give a clear indication on when he'd return to mixed martial arts (MMA), but seemed to be open to a possible return once he got his life under control.
Once St-Pierre dropped off the call, White announced that Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler would face on another at UFC 171 in Dallas, Texas, at the American Airlines Arena next March for the vacant title. Prior to the announcement, it was assumed that Hendricks would possibly rematch Carlos Condit for the strap.
With the UFC moving forward with Hendricks vs. Lawler, Condit is left on the outside looking in. While he was matched up against Matt Brown for this weekend's UFC on Fox 9 card in Sacramento, Brown's back injury forced the "Natural Born Killer" from the event.
White confirmed that the promotion will try and have Condit on the UFC 171 card and that Brown will likely not be his opponent. He cited Brown's injury as reason for moving in a "new direction" with Condit.
As the number two welterweight in the promotion according to the official UFC rankings, Condit is likely just a fight away from challenging for UFC gold.