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Georges St-Pierre appeared to be retired several years ago, but following a miraculous comeback in which he took the UFC middleweight belt from Michael Bisping in late 2017, the sure to be UFC Hall of Famer has decided to walk away.
A former two-division UFC champion, St-Pierre announced his retirement on Thursday at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
After his press conference, St-Pierre issued the following official retirement statement via his social media platforms:
Today, I am announcing my retirement from the Ultimate Fighting Championship and mixed martial arts competition. I intend to keep training and practicing martial arts for as long as I live, but now is the time that I chose to end my career as a professional MMA athlete.
I’ve always planned to leave the sport on my own terms and timing. 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. I believe that the best way to pass the test of time is to remain ahead of it.
There are several people I want to thank.
First, my family. They raised me with virtues that brought me success and the foundation necessary to achieve my goals. I thank you.
My fans. They have been loyal to me and what I stand for - the use of meticulous preparation and strategy to overcome obstacles no matter how intimidating or difficult it might seem. I thank you.
My team of trainers and training partners who have always been there to teach me and provide advice to help me grow into the best athlete I can be inside the octagon. I thank you.
The UFC. The organization gave me the chance to showcase my skills before the world, from UFC 46 to UFC 217. I will forever be grateful for the work of Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, as well as Dana White. The entire UFC team, in fact, deserves praise. These men and women, all of them, have helped my dream s come true. I thank you.
My sponsors and business partners. For putting your trust in me and the incredible relationships that we’ve developed over the years. I thank you.
My agents and managers – who helped me succeed in the competitive business world outside the octagon. I thank you.
My past collaborators. I will never forget that many of you were among the first to see something in me. You have all played a role in my growth. I thank you.
I also want to thank each of my opponents. I faced the very best of my generation. All of them are incredible athletes who brought out the best in me. The challenge of standing before these men has helped me rise higher than I could ever have imagined. Without worthy adversaries. I could not be a true champion. I thank you all.
I retire from competition with great pride at having had an impact on my sport. From the start, I wanted to develop and raise the standard of professional conduct, preparation and performance in MMA. I also brought awareness and change to the serious issue of performance enhancing drugs in the sport and I will continue to encourage initiatives aimed at improving all aspects of professional MMA.
I will forever be a fan and an advocate of how martial arts play a positive role for both individuals and society. I now look forward to watching the new generation of champions carry the sport into the future!