When the UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre announced yesterday that he was taking time away from Mixed Martial Arts, and would relinquish his title, many analysts and fans were left speechless.
FOX Sports decided to ask their MMA analysts Kenny Florian, Chael Sonnen, Brian Stann and Jon Anik what they thought of St. Pierre’s decision.
“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,” Florian said. “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.”
As for Stann, he has the utmost respect for the now former champion St. Pierre. “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,” Stann said.
Anik is in a similar mindset as Stann, only expressing respect and admiration St. Pierre, who is considered by many to be the greatest welterweight in MMA history. “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,” Anik said.
Sonnen, of course, used his opportunity to joke around when he said “[UFC President] Dana [White] and I sat down with GSP, [and] we decided this was best for everyone.”
It is unknown if St. Pierre will return to competition, but if he does come back, his contract will still be intact.
In the interim, Johny Hendricks will face Robbie Lawler for the vacant welterweight title at UFC 171, which takes place March 15, 2014 in Dallas, Texas.
Tags: Brian Stann, Chael Sonnen, Dana White UFC On FOX, Georges "Rush" St. Pierre, georges st. pierre, gsp, johny hendricks, Jon Anik, Kenny Florian, mma, MMA NEWS, retirement, robbie lawler, ufc, ufc 171, ufc news