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Georges St. Pierre announces he is leaving (not retiring) from UFC indefinitely

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The champ will vacate his title and walk away from MMA -- for now -- at the age of 32.

USA TODAY Sports

Georges St-Pierre has made the decision to walk away from combat sports indefinitely.

But he hasn't used the word "retire."

"I've being fighting for a very long time at a high level. It's a lot of pressure. I've decided I need to take time off. I vacated my title for the respect of other competitors. One day, when I feel like it, I might come back. But right now, I need a break."

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion made his announcement earlier today (Dec. 13, 2013) after weeks of speculation, dating back to the UFC 167 pay-per-view (PPV) event, where "Rush" narrowly edged out Johny Hendricks in the main event to retain his 170-pound title.

But that wasn't the night's most compelling story.

In the post-fight aftermath, St. Pierre admitted that he was burned out on mixed martial arts (MMA), unable to sleep and dealing with a litany of personal problems, which were rumored to be everything from an unplanned pregnancy, to an ailing parent and even a bitter lawsuit (details).

Now he has all the time in the world to deal with his "pressure."

In his absence, 170-pound number one contender Johny Hendricks will fight Robbie Lawler for the vacant welterweight title at the upcoming UFC 171 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, which takes place on March 15, 2014 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

For more on that 170-pound battle click here. Live updates from St. Pierre's announcement can be located here and stay tuned for a full audio replay of today's media conference call.