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MMA: UFC 167-St-Pierre vs Hendricks

LAS VEGAS – Whatever is going on with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, it’s apparently causing him major distress.

“I can’t sleep at night, man,” he told MMAjunkie following Saturday’s UFC 167. “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.”

Following a controversial split-call win over Johny Hendricks (15-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC) in the headliner of UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) said he needed to walk away from MMA, but wouldn’t say whether he is retiring.

The statement both confused and aggravated UFC President Dana White, who said the champ owes it to the promotion and Hendricks to do an immediate rematch.

At the event’s post-event press conference, St-Pierre, who was cut under both eyes from the five-round fight, repeatedly declined to speak about the issues that were bothering him.

“Not right now,” he said. “I can’t tell you. I just got hit; I just came out of a frickin’ war with a guy that hit like a truck. My brain got bashed left and right inside my skull, so I need to think and see what’s going to happen.

“I got very emotional, and I’m going to have a talk with the guys and see what’s going to happen. I want to say thank you to everyone for their support. The UFC has always been with me, and always supported me. They’re the ones who made my lifestyle with my family, so I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to them. I would never turn my back to the UFC, ever, ever.”

And yet, St-Pierre said he “needed to make a point” when he decided to take a hiatus.

“Like I said, I need to think,” he said. “There’s stuff going on in my life, and I need to make a point in my life again, and it’s my personal life. I can’t speak to you about this. I know you’re a reporter and I know your job is to find out, but I have a personal life, and I keep personal some of my stuff.

“The only thing I can say about this fight is I gave my best. Like it or hate it, I gave everything I have, and I want to say thanks to Johny for the fight, and thank you to the fans. I hope they appreciate the show, and I left everything in there.”

Asked whether White’s criticism was valid, St-Pierre acknowledged that his decision put the UFC in a difficult position. But he seemed unwilling to budge.

“I understand from their point of view,” he said. “It’s bad for them if I leave like this. Like I said, I need to make a point.”

Further questions posed to the champ were shut down by a tense White, who said the two would meet after the press conference to discuss the issue and, presumably, come to some sort of agreement.

But for now, fans can only guess what the champ’s problem is.

“We’ll talk,” White said. “I’m going to talk to the guy. He doesn’t want to talk about it, he said it 10 times. I’ll talk to him. He and I will leave here, and we will go talk.”

For complete coverage of UFC 167, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

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