With the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view star taking an indefinite break from the sport, the organization would understandably be tempted to pester him for a return date. UFC President Dana White, though, said he plans to give Georges St-Pierre plenty of space.
“I’ll leave him alone,” White said this past weekend (watch the full post-UFC on FOX 9 media scrum above). “I’ll leave him alone and let him do his thing.
“When a guy gets done fighting, I don’t bother the guys until it’s time to fight again. Let them go, let them disappear and do their thing. Then we contact them when it’s time to fight again.”
This past week, St-Pierre vacated his welterweight title and announced his plans to take an indefinite break from the sport. He said he expects to return to the cage at some point in the future, but he had no timetable for such a return.
Following a split-decision win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 this past month, St-Pierre hinted at some personal issues and said his life had become a “zoo.” That’s when he first suggested he might need time away from the cage.
“I can’t sleep at night, man,” St-Pierre, 32, said after the Nov. 16 pay-per-view 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 St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC), who had made nine consecutive title defenses since 2008, now on the sidelines, Hendricks (15-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC) and Robbie Lawler (22-9 MMA, 7-3 UFC) will fight for the vacant belt at UFC 171 on March.
Will St-Pierre be there?
“I don’t know, probably not,” White said. “It sounds like he wants to get away.
“Like I said … earlier, he’s going to fix the zoo first. Once he gets the zoo straightened out, he’ll probably be focusing on fighting again and trying to regain the title.”
For the latest on UFC 171, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.