Georges St Pierre vacates UFC welterweight title

GREG BEACHAM
Last updated 14:14 14/12/2013
Georges St. Pierre
TAKING A BREAK: UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre has vacated his title, citing a desire for a lengthy break.

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UFC welterweight champion Georges St Pierre has vacated his title, citing a desire for a lengthy break from mixed martial arts.

At a news conference today, St Pierre said the relentless pressure of training and unspecified personal problems led to his move away from the sport.

St Pierre is considered one of the sport's greatest athletes with 12 straight victories and nine consecutive 170-pound title defenses, including a split decision over Johny Hendricks last month.

He has been the UFC's biggest pay-per-view draw since the departure of heavyweight Brock Lesnar.

St Pierre believes he'll eventually return to the sport, but doesn't want to "jam up" the welterweight division during his absence.

Hendricks will fight Robbie Lawler on March 15 in Dallas for the vacant 170-pound belt, UFC President Dana White says.

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