THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/21: GSP officially retires, what was his proudest moment in the cage?

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Mar 3, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre speaks during a press conference to promote his middleweight title bout against Michael Bisping (not pictured) prior to weigh ins for UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Au revoir

Possibly the greatest fighter to ever enter a UFC cage officially announced his retirement Thursday morning. During a press conference at Montreal’s Bell Centre, Georges St-Pierre said that he’s done with mixed martial arts.

“I want to thank my family, my fans, my coaches, trainers, and training partners, my sponsors and my agents for their indefectible support during all these years,” he said. “I will forever be grateful for the work of Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, as well as Dana White and all UFC employees for giving me the opportunity to showcase my skills before the world, from UFC 46 to UFC 217. I also want to thank each of my opponents. All of them are incredible athletes who brought out the best in me. I retire from competition with great pride at having had a positive impact on my sport. I intend to keep training and practicing martial arts for as long as I live, and I look forward to watching the new generation of champions carry our sport into the future.”

GSP spoke to media for some time and was very forthcoming during the press conference. He maintained that he is still on very good terms with UFC and Dana White despite reports that he was in negotiations to fight UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. All sides were not able to come to an agreement and Nurmagomedov put out a last minute plea on Instagram Wednesday, but St-Pierre was frim and content with his decision.

When asked about what the proudest moment of his career was, GSP shared an unlikely sequence from one of his fights.

“The moment I’m most proud of in my career was when I got dropped by a head kick from Carlos Condit and I was able to stand up,” he recalled. “It shows I had the heart and guts to come back from an obstacle. I was able to overcome it.”

It was one of only a handful of moments in his career that St-Pierre was in trouble in a fight. The argument of who is the greatest of all time will never be definitive, but we can now look back at GSP’s career with full clarity knowing that he does not plan to return.

But even though St-Pierre’s fighting career is over, he promised that he will not disappear from the sport altogether.

“It’s just an au revoir, it’s not a goodbye.”

Thursday Notebook

-UFC Phoenix averaged 1.463 million viewers on ESPN Sunday night.

-Bellator 215 did 365,000 viewers on Paramount Network on Friday night.

-Amid news that GSP vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov was being negotiated and rumors of a potential Max Holloway vs. Tony Ferguson interim lightweight title fight, Dustin Poirier tweeted that he wants to be released from UFC.

Tyron Woodley put out an invitation for Georges St-Pierre to come train with him.

-Bellator announced that they have re-signed both “Pitbull” brothers to multi-fight contracts.

Fight Announcements

Combate is reporting that Paige VanZant vs. Poliana Botelho will take place at UFC 236 on April 13 from Atlanta.

-UFC announced a May 4 event from Ottawa, Ontario featuring Elias Theodorou vs. Derek Brunson, Juan Adams vs. Arjan Singh Bhullar, Leah Letson vs. Sarah Moras, Merab Dvalishvili vs. Brad Katona, Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Andrew Sanchez, Mitch Gagnon vs. Brian Kelleher, and Vince Morales vs. Aiemann Zahabi.

-Anderson Silva vs. Jared Cannonier is announced for UFC 237 on May 11 from a to be determined location in Brazil.

-Bethe Correia vs. Irena Aldana will also take place at UFC 237.

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