Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre announced an indefinite hiatus from mixed martial arts (MMA) today (Dec. 13, 2013) during a conference call with UFC President Dana White. On the call, St-Pierre also announced that he would be vacating the title that he's held since 2007.
His storied career saw him take on all challengers and fight the very best that the sport has to offer. He's the winningest champion in welterweight history and one of biggest draws in the sport. However, outside of the cage, his life was falling apart and he said that he needed time to "live a normal life."
Needless to say, the announcement shocked the MMA world. Fox Sports asked its UFC analysts for their thoughts on St-Pierre's temporary sabbatical.
Kenny Florian: "As a fighter, every day you wake up knowing that someone out there is preparing to destroy you. GSP is at the top of the mountain with all arrows pointing at him. He has defended his position as champ for several years against the best in one of the toughest divisions in the UFC. He needs a break and I couldn't be happier for him. I've spoken with Georges and he is in a good place now. He hasn't slept this well in years. I expect him to be back when the urge is back and when a tough opponent emerges."
Brian Stann: "GSP has once again shown class and grace in his decision to vacate the title while he takes extended time away from the sport. He defines what everyone hopes to become as a martial artist, champion skills and character."
Jon Anik: "Georges St-Pierre is a man of conviction and I like that he stuck to his guns and made what I believe is a courageous professional decision. If ever there were a UFC legacy that doesn't need an additional chapter, it's GSP and if indeed we've seen him grace the Octagon for the last time, he's set the bar high for fighter's greatness."
Chael Sonnen: "When Dana and I sat down with GSP, we decided this was best for everyone."
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 9 fight card right here on fight night (Dec. 14, 2013), starting with the Facebook "Prelims," which are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1-televised under card bouts at 5 p.m. ET and then main card FOX action, which is slated to begin at 8 p.m. ET.
For more news and notes on UFC on FOX 9 be sure to check out our complete event archive right here.