UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre announced on Friday that he will be taking time off and will vacate the UFC title.
St-Pierre announced his decision during a conference call with UFC President Dana White. St-Pierre cited that he needed to take time off and never said this was a retirement.
“I’ve been fighting for a long time,” St-Pierre said. “I have 22 fights in the UFC, and 15 were for a world title. I’ve been fighting a long time at a high level, a lot of pressure and criticizing. I’ve decided I needed to take some time off.”
St-Pierre did not set a time table for his return and did not state any exact reasons why he decided he needed to walk away at this time. When asked about his personal issues, he would not give any details as he wants to keep that private.
“I can’t sleep at night, man,” he said after the November 16 event. “I’m going crazy. I have issues and I need to get out for a while. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I feel like I’m leaving everything out now, but I need to leave part of my life personal. I need to get out for a little bit, and that’s it.”
With the title vacated, UFC President Dana White announced that Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler will meet in the main event of UFC 171 on March 15th in Dallas for the vacant title.
The original main event for UFC 171 was scheduled to be UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones defending the title against Glover Teixeira and that bout has been moved to UFC 172, which a date for that event has not been announced.