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St-Pierre: I'm stepping away for a bit
LAS VEGAS, NV
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre broke the all-time record for wins inside the Octagon on Saturday night with a controversial win over Johny Hendricks. But did it also serve as the last fight in his career?
"I have to go away for a little bit," a very emotional St-Pierre said after his fight, referring to "personal things" he had to attend to and refusing to confirm if that meant he was retiring.
A very emotional St-Pierre said it was his toughest fight and he couldn't see out of one eye.
"I need a vacation," he said.
What I was told was GSP wanted to retire with a win and walk away for 1 year or so. Maybe 2. Hopefully we can find out more.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 17, 2013
GSP going to the hospital. He's not going to the presser.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 17, 2013
Rumors have been swirling for weeks after comments from his coach Firas Zahabi and mentor Kristof Midoux. While Zahabi said his comments were taken out of context, the idea of St-Pierre's retirement isn't new, but this time around the rumors gained steam with each passing day.
On Friday following the weigh-ins for UFC 167, St-Pierre was elusive with the question and did not want to close the door on the possibility that he could walk away from fighting after the bout with Hendricks is done.
"I can't tell you," St-Pierre told FOX Sports' Ariel Helwani when asked point blank if he was going to retire. "Listen, I don't know when I'm going to retire. It could be tomorrow, could be in one week, it could be in 10 years, could be in five years, I don't know. I take one fight at a time, but I love what I do right now.
"I plan my next fight. I don't plan my retirement yet."
For his part, UFC president Dana White certainly would miss St-Pierre's presence if he did decide to retire after saying on numerous occasions the Canadian champion is the company's biggest cash cow at the box office and on pay-per-view. That said, White believes that St-Pierre's long reign atop the UFC's pay scale easily could justify him walking away now while he's on top of the sport.
"When I talk about Georges St-Pierre's bank account, Georges St-Pierre without a doubt has the bank account to retire," White told MMAFighting. "Unless he's out there blowing all of his money that I'm not aware of, but he's not that type of guy as far as I know. He could retire Saturday and do very well."
Unless he takes a rematch with Hendricks, St-Pierre virtually has cleared out all of the top contenders in the welterweight division. One possible opponent, training partner and friend Rory MacDonald, lost to Robbie Lawler on Saturday night. Both St-Pierre and MacDonald have stated adamantly that they will never fight each other — no matter what's on the line.