Former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre (26-2-0) announced his retirement from mixed martial arts at a Montreal press conference held at the Bell Centre earlier today.
“For me, today is a very happy day,” he said smiling.
St-Pierre, 37, a Saint Isidore, Quebec native, explained that although he and lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (27-0-0) wanted to fight each other, the UFC “had other plans.”
“Athletes should not be told to retire … they should take their retirement when they are on top”
“Rush” debuted at UFC 46 in January 2004, going 20-2-0 in the octagon over the next 15 years. He defeated Matt Hughes for the welterweight belt at UFC 65, lost it in stunning fashion to Matt Sera at UFC 69, and then won it back convincingly from Sera at UFC 83.
— UFC (@ufc) February 21, 2019
GSP will be remembered for many things but primarily his clean and classy personality, preferring to let performances speak instead of trash talking opponents. The UFC will remember his box-office appeal as he remains among the leaders in all-time UFC PPV sales.
I’m announcing my retirement from the UFC and mixed martial arts competition. I intend to keep training and practicing martial arts for as long as I live, but now is the time that I chose to end my career as a professional MMA athlete. Read my official statement in the images. pic.twitter.com/uMP0LE5XeF
— Georges St-Pierre (@GeorgesStPierre) February 21, 2019
Many records were set in the UFC, but among the most impressive is his record nine consecutive welterweight title defences.
In 2011, when the UFC arrived for the first time in Toronto at UFC 129, St-Pierre made sure to headline what was then the biggest UFC card in the company’s history with over 55,000 people jamming the Rogers Centre to see him defend the belt against Jake Shields.
After taking a four year hiatus in 2013, St-Pierre returned in 2017 to defeat Michael Bisping for the middleweight belt. He vacated the belt 33 days afterwards, due to medical issues (ulcerative colitis).
Now look at this video and you’ll understand why I wanted to fight with him, simply he’s one of the best оf all times. I just wanted to share cage with him while he’s active, that’s the… https://t.co/aYQf9mXKAY
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) February 21, 2019
GSP leaves the octagon with a 13-fight win streak and revealed he will soon take a vacation “to an exotic and warm place.”