Georges St. Pierre and Jake Shields at UFC 129UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre held onto his belt at UFC 167 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night, if only by the skin of his teeth. But perhaps as surprising as the decision was the champion’s post-fight comments, not exactly retiring, but saying he had to “go away for a little bit.”

St-Pierre opened aggressively, taking the fight to Hendricks, and scoring an early takedown. On a subsequent attempt, however, Hendricks landed some vicious elbows to the champion’s head, slowing him down. Hendricks out-dueled St-Pierre for the remainder of the opening frame, landing the more impressive strikes and controlling the clinch.

Hendricks didn’t let up to start the second stanza, keeping after St-Pierre with his power shots. St-Pierre eventually got his jab and low leg kicks going late in the round, starting to chop away at Hendricks. It was a very close round, and could be the one that swung the scorecards in St-Pierre’s favor in the end.

Round three was one of St-Pierre’s better rounds, as he found much success with his jab and low kicks. Hendricks noticeably slowed down in the round, the power in his punches losing some of their steam.

St-Pierre kept up his jab and low kick attack – a key part of his game plan – in the fourth round.

“He was very good at countering my game plan. My game plan was to make him fight going backwards (to take away his power),” said St-Pierre.

But just when the momentum was all swinging his way, he tangled up his own legs as he moved away from Hendricks and hit the canvas. Hendricks followed him down and landed several hard elbows that busted the champion’s face up a bit. They returned to their feet for the remainder of the round, but Hendricks had effectively taken St-Pierre out of his rhythm. It was another close round.

The fifth and final round was nearly all Hendricks. St-Pierre came after Hendricks aggressively, but just couldn’t land many damaging blows. Hendricks kept tying him up and outwrestling St-Pierre, keeping control of the fight, and once again landing with power when he unleashed his powerful paws.

Many in the crowd seemed to feel Hendricks had walked away with the decision, but when the judges’ scorecards were read, they reached a split conclusion. Two judges scored the fight for St-Pierre, while the other judge scored it for Hendricks.

St-Pierre admitted it was his toughest fight to date, but felt he earned the right to keep his belt.

“Without a doubt my toughest fight,” said the champ. “I lost memory a little bit during the fight, I couldn’t see with one of my eyes. He really messed me up.

“I wasn’t surprised (at the decision), but like I said, I lost a little bit of memory of what happened.”

Hendricks, however, was extremely surprised.

“I thought I clearly won the fight,” said the challenger. “Georges is a great competitor. It sucks, but I’m coming back. I’ll get that belt.

“I won. I don’t care. I want that belt. It was taken away from me. I swear to God it won’t happen again.”

Although he held onto the gold, St-Pierre gave in to the rumors that have been swirling for weeks that he might retire after the fight.

Or did he?

“There was a lot of talk about what is going to happen. I am going to hang my gloves up for a little bit and make sense of my life,” said St-Pierre, still standing in the middle of the Octagon.

But when he was pressed if that meant he was retiring, St-Pierre wasn’t quite ready to fully commit to the idea.

Perhaps he had planned to retire when he headed into the fight, and the emotion of the moment held him back from making a finite decision. Whatever the case, he only alluded to some personal issues and the need to deal with them.

“I have to go away for a little bit at least. Personal things are happening. I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to the UFC,” he continued.

“I have to step away for a bit, that’s all I can say right now. Later on, I’ll make a point about that. Right now I have to go away for a little bit.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC on FOX 23's Donald Cerrone: 'I'm going to get this belt in 2017'

  • 29 days ago
  • 25 views

Donald Cerrone wants 2017 to be one of the defining years of his career. Before the next 12 months pass, “Cowboy” said he wants to hold the UFC welterweight belt.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Ronda Rousey's Next Opponent Could Be the Keystone XL and Dakota Pipelines | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 48 views

Former UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey may have chosen her next opponent and the fight will take place outside of the Octagon. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 107 ticket pre-sale starts today £40 ($50 US) gets you in the door in London

  • 29 days ago
  • 4 views

Just £40 ($50 US) will get you in the door for the UFC’s return to London in March. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Fans invited to open workouts, weigh-ins for this week's UFC on FOX 23 in Denver

  • 29 days ago
  • 7 views

If you live in the Denver area, or are heading to the Rockies for a fighting-based vacation, you’ll have some chances to check out events for this week’s UFC return to Denver. Filed under: News, UFC, read news >>

UFC middleweight champ Michael Bisping expects spring return – and wants a money fight

  • 29 days ago
  • 27 views

We may not see UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping back in action until the spring, but when he returns, he wants one thing – and it’s something that has been a pretty common refrain in the spo read news >>

Video: A look behind the scenes of UFC efforts to 'accelerate the evolution of the MMA athlete'

  • 28 days ago
  • 37 views

LAS VEGAS – When the UFC broke ground in January 2016 for a new 184,000-square foot corporate campus in Las Vegas, company executives invested in more than just improved office space.Filed under: Fea read news >>

Ronda Rousey Attended Standing Rock Protest Against Dakota Access Pipeline

  • 28 days ago
  • 5 views

UFC star Ronda Rousey traveled to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota last week to bring protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline project "fresh fruit, veggies, bread, tents and a wo read news >>

The Complete Guide to UFC on Fox 23: Shevchenko vs. Pena

  • 28 days ago
  • 5 views

The UFC heads to Denver for a fun, well-matched card on Fox this Saturday. In the main event, decorated kickboxer Valentina Shevchenko takes on rising The Ultimate Fighter winner Julianna Pena. With read news >>

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2369 with UFC on FOX 23's Raphael Assuncao, John McCarthy

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 views

Stream or download Tuesday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Raphael Assuncao and John McCarthy.Filed under: News, Radio, UFC read news >>

UFC on FOX 23's Raphael Assuncao says he's seen it all, and Sterling brings nothing new

  • 28 days ago
  • 4 views

UFC bantamweight Raphael Assuncao said he “wasn’t quite there 100 percent” when he faced ex-champ T.J. Dillashaw this past July at UFC 200, and he’s changed his training to reverse his fortunes. File read news >>