Georges St.Pierre dropped a bombshell last night after his controversial split decision victory over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 when he seemed to imply that he was going to retire.
There was plenty of confusion though given that GSP stopped just short of saying he was hanging up his gloves for good, instead implying that he might need to take an extended leave of absence.
He said that he had, “a lot of things going on in my life”, and “personal issues” that meant he “had to go away for a little bit,” while also saying that he was “hanging up his gloves.”
It was a post-fight speech that left more questions than answers, though at the post-fight press conference the long-time welterweight champion elaborated just a little on what his personal issues might be.
“I can’t sleep at night, man,” GSP said. “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.”
Meanwhile, reporter Ariel Helwani indicated that sources had told him that GSP had been intending to take a year or two out if he emerged with a win last night.
One man who seemed stunned by GSP’s decision was UFC President Dana White who initially seemed furious with the fighter who for some time now has been the sport’s biggest star.
“GSP shouldn’t walk away, he owes it to the fans and to the sport to fight Hendricks again,” an Irate White, who believed Hendricks won the fight, told ESPN immediately afterwards.
However, after speaking to St.Pierre backstage immediately following the post-fight presser, White admitted that he had calmed down and during a media scrum later he seemed to have been assured that this wasn’t the end of GSP’s fighting career.
“His problems aren’t as bad as he thinks they are,” was White’s verdict. “They’re personal problems. I talked to him. Lorenzo’s still in there talking to him. We’ll get through this.”
White stopped short of describing exactly what GSP felt was wrong, but seemed to suggest that he had some anxiety about something that was going on in his life.
“One of the things that makes Georges as great as he is…things drive him crazy. Little things drive him nuts. Like the whole obsession thing that he was talking about. He’s very much that way, and he’s obsessing over something else that might seem like the end of the world at all. But it’s not.”
White thinks it may take time, but that GSP will return to defend his title against Hendricks at some stage in the future. GSP remains an enigmatic character though so we’ll just have to wait and see how this all unfolds in the coming months.