I don't want those other guys to call me out, because I'm out.
St-Pierre won Sports Illustrated fighter of the year in 2009. "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 said in a statement. "It was a long process in my mind". Only a few people have done it and I always said that I want to retire on my own and not be told to retire.
Meanwhile, UFC president Dana White has paid tribute to St-Pierre's influence on mixed martial arts.
Georges St-Pierre has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts at the age of 37. At that particular moment I knew that's exactly what I wanted to do. It's weird, it's like I had a vision.
"The career of an athlete is not a straight line". "Everything starts with a dream".
Prior to his retirement, however, there had been rumblings that a potential match between GSP and Khabib Nurmagomedov could potentially happen in 2019. "If Khabib wins, it would be good for his momentum, to grow him and the promotion". He also made it a point to laud his opponents. I don't have that same motivation. I don't have the same anger - the same hunger - anymore. "I think he's the best fighter right now and I look forward to seeing his next fight". He is inarguably one of the very best fighters of all time.
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But then he challenged Michael Bisping to a middleweight title fight that took a year to finally happen and he won the belt, only to give it up 33 days later. Like a movie scenario: Oh, he's coming back!
"This business of mixed martial arts is about what's next?"
Thursday's event in Montreal and the outpouring of respect being shown toward St-Pierre are awesome; however, this feels more like Brett Favre calling it a career with the Packers, only to suit up with the Jets the next season before going on to play a couple more years with the Vikings after that.
"But, it would be [an] honour for me to share [the] octagon with one of the greatest fighters of all time".
"I know Khabib wants it and I want it, but UFC has other plans", St-Pierre said Thursday. He became a two-division champion after taking down Bisping at UFC 217 for the middleweight title.