Georges St-Pierre Officially Retires, Says He's 'Thankful' to Go out on Top

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2019

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 04:  Georges St-Pierre of Canada celebrates after defeating Michael Bisping of England in their UFC middleweight championship bout during the UFC 217 event inside Madison Square Garden on November 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

MMA legend Georges St-Pierre officially announced his retirement Thursday after a career highlighted by UFC welterweight and middleweight championship reigns.

"In combat sports, you should retire on top," he told reporters. "I'm thankful I get to do that."

After rumors surfaced Wednesday of GSP's decision to retire, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov made a last-ditch effort to change the Canadian superstar's mind by proposing a November fight in an Instagram post.

"Let's do it in November. After this fight you can retire," he wrote. "I grow up on your fights, and have nothing but respect for you, and I believe showed that to you George when you were in Moscow. But, it would be honor for me to share Octagon with one of the greatest fighters of all time."

St-Pierre moved forward with the retirement press conference despite the offer.

The 37-year-old fan favorite walks away with a 26-2 record, including 13 consecutive victories to close out his career. He only fought once since late 2013—a middleweight title win over Michael Bisping in November 2017. He later vacated the belt because of ulcerative colitis.

He'll go down as one of the greatest fighters in history, and he shouted out another GOATNHL legend Wayne Gretzkyduring his comments Thursday.

"And thank you to Wayne Gretzky. He's probably the best athlete all sports combined, his records will probably never be broken," he said. "Not only is he an incredible athlete, for me he's an incredible role model and through my career I always tried to mold myself like Wayne Gretzky."

He also mentioned UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie and kickboxer Jean-Yves Theriault as inspirations.

St-Pierre's professional career began in 2002 and saw him set several UFC records, including the mark of 13 wins in championship fights that remains unbeaten.

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