Longtime UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre sent shockwaves through the sport when he vacated the title on Friday to clear up personal issues in his life.
St. Pierre said that he had become obsessed with fighting and had never enjoyed a normal life. GSP left the door open to a return to MMA, saying that he may come back as a challenger someday.
UFC President Dana White is one of the people that believe St. Pierre simply won’t be able to stay away from the sport forever. Speaking at the UFC on Fox 9 post-fight show, White detailed his feelings on the subject:
“He didn’t walk away. He’s going to come back. He has some things he has to handle. He did the classy thing and vacated the title. He did the right thing. He’s going to be gone a while. Somebody will win that belt and then he’ll be back."
But he did walk away, at least for a while. Somebody will indeed win the belt, as number one-ranked Johny Hendricks will face number three Robbie Lawler in the main event of UFC 171 next March. The stacked UFC 170-pound arena will move on with or without its greatest warrior. With so many worthy challengers vying for a shot at the belt, the UFC had to get plans in place for the division to move on.
And they did.
Many thought that Carlos Condit would somehow be involved in the title scene, but the UFC has “something else planned for him.” Tyron Woodley has campaigned to be that something else but White confirmed that wouldn’t be the direction they're heading with “The Natural Born Killer.”
For GSP, there’s not much else he needs to accomplish in MMA. His UFC 167 victory over Hendricks was a highly controversial affair that saw St. Pierre take much more damage than he is accustomed to. The wars are beginning to add up for him so it may not be worth risking his sanity just to prove he can defeat “Bigg Rigg” beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The UFC is supporting his decision for the most part despite White initially wanting to get St. Pierre vs. Hendricks II booked immediately. While that fight is on the shelves for an indefinite amount of time, don’t be surprised if you see it go down sometime in the future.