UFC Welterweight Champion GSP Vacates Title, Hendricks to fight Lawler for Title
GSP to Take Break; Hendricks, Lawler to Fight for Title
Citing undisclosed personal issues, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre announced Friday afternoon that he will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the sport of mixed martial arts and vacating his title, effective immediately.
Robbie Lawler lands a blow on Tim Kennedy.
ďIíve been fighting a very long time at a high level, and itís a lot of pressure, a lot of criticism, and I decided that I need to take time off,Ē said the 32-year-old Montreal native. ďI know the UFCís a business, and it canít wait on me. They have to keep things rolling, so Iíve vacated my title for the respect of the other competitors, and one day, when I feel like it, I may come back. But right now, I need a break.Ē
The news comes less than a month after St-Pierreís grueling split decision win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in Las Vegas. The win marked GSPís ninth successful title defense.
ďWhat people donít understand is that in the situation that I am at, itís a lot of pressure,Ē said St-Pierre. ďEvery fight Iím carrying weight on my shoulders, and every fight itís like you add weight. At one point it becomes so heavy that I have a hard time carrying it myself. Physically, Iím a hundred percent and Iím still young and on top of the world, but mentally, I cannot go through another training camp right now and I donít know when I will be able to. One day, when I feel Iím ready, Iím gonna come back, and instead of having a red sticker on my glove, Iím gonna have a blue sticker and Iíll be the challenger. Iíve climbed Everest three times before, when I lost to Hughes, to Serra, and then after my (knee) injury, and if I have to do it a fourth time, believe me, I feel like Iím gonna do it.Ē
On the media teleconference with St-Pierre, UFC President Dana White announced that Hendricks and Robbie Lawler will fight for the vacant 170-pound title in the main event of UFC 171 on March 15, 2014, in Dallas, Texas. As for GSPís decision to take a hiatus from the Octagon, he said, ďI agree with Georges a hundred percent. He talked to us and said ĎIíve got a lot of personal issues Iím dealing with right now, and I canít even imagine going into another training camp. It will drive me crazy.í This isnít baseball or some other sport. This is fighting. You have to be a hundred percent mentally, physically, emotionally. If youíre not, you should sit on the sidelines and wait until you get your stuff cleared up, and I think itís the right move.Ē
Dana White expects previous interim champion Carlos Condit to be on that same card.
Who do you guys think will take it?