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UFC legend St-Pierre announces retirement after failed Khabib negotiations

The 37-year-old was a UFC champion in both the welterweight and middleweight divisions.

Georges St-Pierre (file pic).
Georges St-Pierre (file pic).
Image: Speed Media

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS veteran Georges St-Pierre has officially retired from the sport.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters ever to compete in the octagon, the 37-year-old Canadian made the announcement this afternoon at a press conference in his hometown of Montreal.

A former welterweight and middleweight champion, St-Pierre is one of six fighters to have won titles in two UFC weight classes.

“There are no tears. I’m very happy to do it,” GSP said of his decision to call it a day.

“It takes a lot of discipline to retire on top. It’s time to do it. I always said that I wanted to retire on my own [terms] and not have to be told to retire. I’m happy that I had the wisdom and the discipline to do it.”

When the prospect of St-Pierre’s retirement emerged yesterday, reports suggested that he decided to hang up his gloves after negotiations for a fight with reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov broke down.

According to GSP, both fighters were keen to make the bout happen, but the organisation was not in agreement: “I wanted the fight and Khabib wanted the fight, but the UFC has other plans.”

He added: “Even though physically I feel on top of my game, the hunger is not the same.”

St-Pierre, who retires with a professional record of 26-2, fought 22 times under the banner of the UFC, for whom he debuted in January 2004.

After falling short against Matt Hughes in his first attempt to claim the UFC welterweight title, he gained revenge — as well as the 170-pound belt — by getting the better of Hughes via second-round TKO in November 2006.

Despite suffering a shock defeat to Matt Serra in his first defence, St-Pierre regained the title 18 months later, stopping Serra in the second round of their meeting at UFC 83. 

Georges St-Pierre; Jake Shields St-Pierre (left) en route to victory over Jake Shields at UFC 129. Source: Nathan Denette

GSP — who has more wins in UFC title bouts (13) than any other fighter — went on to make nine successful title defences before relinquishing the belt after defeating Johny Hendricks in November 2013 in order to take a hiatus from competition.

He returned four years later and moved up to middleweight, dethroning defending 185-pound champion Michael Bisping via third-round submission at Madison Square Garden.

After revealing that he would be confined to a lay-off due to a bout of ulcerative colitis, St-Pierre was forced to give up his newly-acquired title just 31 days later.

In addition to the other aforementioned champions, he holds victories over the likes of BJ Penn, Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit, Sean Sherk, Jake Shields, Dan Hardy, Frank Trigg and Josh Koscheck.

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Paul Dollery

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