(Please note that these quotes were orinigally provided in French, and trust that the translation is accurate and intended to be spoken the way they were presented).
Georges St. Pierre appeared in front of a large crowd at Les Galeries de la Capitale shopping mall in Quebec, sporting a now-defunct Quebec Nordiques hockey jersey, with a smile from ear to ear.
The crowd in attendance lined up for an autograph signing, and made the most noise they could to welcome the now former champion to the province's capital.
After St. Pierre participated in the conference call where he announced he would be walking away from the sport for the time being (listen to the full replay here), he answered a few questions in French for the journalists in attendance.
"I don't want to say retirement, because it's not retirement," said the former Welterweight kingpin. "I'd say it's a break. I need a break to live a normal life. If I want to come back, one day if I feel like it, I will come back stronger."
The French Canadian was wary of athletes who had made similar announcements before him and did not want to be indecisive in the decision he was making.
"One of the thing's is that athletes announce retirement and come back," he said. "I'm a man of my word. If I want to come back, I will."
St. Pierre was asked questions about how he felt shortly afterward in his victory over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 and what was going on in his mind inside and outside of the cage.
"I made the decision even before the Hendricks fight," St. Pierre confessed. "When Joe Rogan gave me the mic I was unsure if I should say it or not."
The champion's motivation was never in doubt, according to him, and said that he felt great going into the fight and shed some light on the controversial decision.
"My performance -- I was 100 performance for the fight. Did I feel like I won the fight? The truth is I watched it over again, and my trainers said going into the fifth round, I needed to win the round to win the fight."
He also spoke about fighting his fellow teammate years ago, Ivan Menjivar, and felt it was a good example of how honesty is important.
"My first fight with Menjivar, it was controversial and I took the mic to say I was unsure if I won. (In the Hendricks fight) I'll say I won rounds one, three and five. I think in round one, that's was made the controversy. I think what made the difference for me, was the guillotine. I put him in more danger than he put me. If I thought I lost the fight, trust me ... I'm not someone who could live with that.
After the questions kept on coming his way, he was asked about the comments of Dana White at UFC 167's post-fight press conference. St. Pierre shed some light on an interesting facet, and although he still has the utmost respect for White, he was never on his way to the hospital in an ambulance. In fact, he was also told by UFC public relations that he was not allowed to attend the post-fight press conference.
In fact, White's self-described "meltdown" and the fact that the boss said "Rush" was on his way to the hospital made the staff nervous if GSP decided to show up.
"What happened November 16th after the fight, I was waiting for the doctors for a while. Finally, they arrived, fixed me up, took my shower and put a tie on. I approached someone who worked for the UFC and asked where the press conference was. She told me I didn't have to go. I said, ‘No, there is controversy after my fight, I'd like to explain myself, and clear up things. She said ‘No, it's fine, you don't have to go.' I told her that I was going to go. I started to walk toward the press conference and she started yelling at me, saying ‘Georges, you're not allowed to go ... you're not supposed to go."
St. Pierre continued to explain the story to the surprise of many in attendance.
"I said, ‘Oh yeah?! I'm still going.'"
That is when St. Pierre started to realize things were a little weird after taking his seat.
"Every one was white," he said. "Everyone was staring at me, surprised to see me. I did not know why. Then I thought, maybe something happened. I sit down, I do the press conference not knowing why, and afterward my friends told me a rumor was circulating that I had left in an ambulance. Dana White said I left in an ambulance and that was not true. I was completely fine. Two days later, I was playing volleyball."
Still, St. Pierre has the utmost respect for his promoter.
"As for Dana White, I'm not upset at Dana," he said. "He's a promoter, he's someone that is extremely intelligent, and I am on very good terms with Dana. He does his work. What he wants is to make a fight that is in the best interests of the UFC. Unfortunately, I am breaking those plans because I need a break."
Call it shocking, surprising or downright foul, but if St. Pierre says he is in good standing with his boss, then it should be a non-issue.
Still, it is news that we have not heard before, and White certainly took a 180-degree spin to credit the champion today and say that stepping away is the right option for "Rush."
St. Pierre takes a hiatus from competing after nine successful 170-pound title defenses. He will relinquish the belt, and Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler will duke it out to crown a new champion for the first time since 2007.