Former two-weight UFC champion, Georges St-Pierre has claimed that he should likely have first called time on his professional mixed martial arts career in March 2013 following his successful title defense against the soon to return, Nick Diaz — rather than wait until November of that annum.

St-Pierre, who is slated to enter the UFC Hall of Fame this year, would go on to successfully defend his welterweight crown against former eventual champion, Johny Hendricks in November of that year in a close, contentious, split decision win at UFC 167 — before announcing that he would be stepping away from the sport.

The Canadian icon recently explained how corruption within the promotion as well as mental health woes forced him to announce his lengthy hiatus from professional mixed martial arts after his fight with the now-retired, Hendricks, before he would eventually return in November 2017 at UFC 217, besting then-middleweight champion, Michael Bisping for the title — becoming a duel-weight champion under the promotion’s banner.

Reflecting on his first hiatus from the sport with former UFC employee, Burt Watson on the Legend 2 Legend podcast, St-Pierre explained that he most likely should have retired off the back of his successful title defense against Diaz in March 2013.

I think I should have retired after the Nick Diaz fight,” Georges St-Pierre said. “I should have taken a break (hiatus). If I would have done that, perhaps, I would have come back earlier in my career, but I did not because I felt the need to always fight the next guy because there was always a next guy, and that’s how I realized as soon as you finish a fight, there’s a next one and a next one.

It’s not promoted about what happened in the past,” St-Pierre explained. “We need to sell the next one (the next fight), build up who’s the next big thing that can beat the champion.” (H/T MMA Junkie)

Regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all-time, St-Pierre, who called time on his career following his win over Bisping four-years ago, boasts a 26-2 professional record, besting the likes of Karo Parisyan, Jay Hieron, Jason Miller, Frank Trigg, Sean Sherk, B.J. Penn. Matt Hughes, Josh Kosheck, Matt Serra, Jon Fitch, Thiago Alves, Dan Hardy, Jake Shields, as well as Carlos Condit. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.