Georges St-Pierre Calls It a Career: ‘I Want to Retire on My Own and Not Be Told to Retire’
Former two-division UFC champion Georges St-Pierre officially announced his retirement from mixed martial arts on Thursday in Montreal.
The Canadian superstar was expected to confirm the news of his retirement after word of the press conference was first revealed on Wednesday.
Now St-Pierre has called it a career after putting together one of the most awe-inspiring resumes in the history of the sport.
“It takes a lot of discipline to become and stay champion. It also takes a lot of discipline to stop while still feeling that you’re in the best physical and mental shape of your life but I’ve always planned to leave the sport when I’m at the top and in good health,” St-Pierre stated.
“I want to thank my family, my fans, my coaches, trainers and training partners, my sponsors and my agents for their indefectible support during all these years. I will forever be grateful for the work of Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, as well as Dana White and all UFC employees for giving me the opportunity to showcase my skills before the world, from UFC 46 to UFC 217. I also want to thank each of my opponents. All of them are incredible athletes who brought out the best in me.
“I retire from competition with great pride at having had a positive impact on my sport. I intend to keep training and practicing martial arts for as long as I live and I look forward to watching the new generation of champions carry our sport into the future.”
St-Pierre leaves the sport with a 26-2 record overall having defeated every opponent he ever faced by avenging the only two losses on his entire resume.
He was a nine-time defending welterweight champion when he took a sabbatical from the sport in 2013 only to return in 2017 and win the middleweight title after four years away.
According to St-Pierre, a key part in making the decision to retire now rather than later was walking away with his legacy in tact rather than sticking around too long to the point where he was being told it was time to call it a career.
“I’ve said I want to retire on my own and not be told to retire. It takes discipline … you should retire on top, and that’s very hard to do,” St-Pierre said.
“The last person to know it’s time to retire is the fighter himself. In life, I don’t know what I want, but I know damn well what I don’t want. What I don’t want is I don’t want to retire too late. [Fighting] is just a little part of me. I’m very happy to [retire].”
St-Pierre did reveal that he attempted to book one more fight in his career against reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov but the matchup never came together.
Once it was clear he wasn’t getting that fight, he decided now was the time to retire from the sport for good.
“For a fighter where I am in my career right now, the most exciting thing [which] is also the scariest thing to do is to fight an opponent who seems invincible. Khabib is that guy right now. That’s why I wanted to fight him,” St-Pierre said. “It was a fight that could elevate my legacy. I knew he wanted to fight me. This message excited me but unfortunately it takes two fighters and also the organization to make the fight happen and the UFC has other plans for Khabib.
“I wish him the best of luck. I remain a big fan and I look forward to his next fight. I’m sure he’s going to do great.”