Georges St-Pierre Makes 1st Public Appearance Since UFC Hiatus

Steven Rondina@srondinaFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2014

Mar 13, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; UFC World champion Georges St-Pierre reacts before the game of Montreal Canadiens against Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Good news and bad news for fans of the UFC's longtime, now-former welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre.

The 32-year-old made his first public appearance since announcing that he was going to take a break from mixed martial arts, taking the field during a National Lacrosse League game between the Edmonton Rush and Colorado Mammoth.

He was announced to the fans in attendance, shook hands with the players on the field and did a meet and greet where he fielded questions from the media. 

The good news is that the Edmonton Sun's Terry Jones (h/t the Ottawa Sun) reports St-Pierre is loving life outside the fight game:

I just took a break. I spent Christmas time and New Years, with my family. That's something I haven't done for a long time. This is the first time I've really had nothing on my schedule. It was perfect. It was fun. It's the first time it felt so good.

I'm 32 years old and this is the first time I have my Christmas with my family. I spent some time but I never really had free time, total free time like I did. It was time for me to do it. I'm very happy I did it and I don't regret any of it.

That is a genuinely wonderful thing to hear.

St-Pierre faced off with hard-punching wrestler Johny Hendricks in the main event of UFC 167. While he would get the nod from the judges in the form of a controversial, split-decision win, he was still visibly frazzled and announced he wanted to take a leave of absence from the sport.

At the post-fight press conference, he looked and sounded like a broken man and would officially vacate the championship a few days later.

While this is his first public appearance since shelving his gloves, he was spotted in Miami, Fla., by TMZ dancing and tipping back Coronas. Regardless, St-Pierre seems to be in a good place in his life right now. 

The bad news for fight fans is that there is no real news on a potential comeback, but he didn't shut the door on a return.

"There is so much on the line. The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. But I want to inform you, that sometimes makes you go a little bit on the edge," he told Jones. "I needed to take time off to relax, to feel better and to have fun to do it again if I ever wanted to come back."

St-Pierre has a career record of 25-2, which includes a 19-2 record in the UFC capped with nine consecutive title defenses.