Quebec City, QC, Canada (4E Sports) – UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has relinquished his title as he steps away from the sport for an indefinite period.
He recently won a controversial decision victory over Johny Hendricks in Las Vegas to retain his title for the ninth time.
UFC president Dana White announced Hendricks will fight Robbie Lawler for the vacant title March 15 in Dallas.
St-Pierre, 32, cited personal issues and a severe reaction to the intensifying pressure of being a star athlete for his decision to walk away at this time.
He refused to explain the nature of his personal issues.
The three-time Canadian athlete of the year will continue to train and improve on his considerable skills, but does not wish to think about fighting at this time.
The fighter said he was 100 percent healthy and ready to physically compete, but mentally he was ill-prepared to step in the cage at this time.
“If I decide to come back, I will be at the top of the game,” he said.
He is a two-time UFC champion since 2006 while posting a 25-2 record.