GSP gives up UFC welterweight title, takes leave of absence

Georges St. Pierres announced Friday he's stepping down as UFC welterweight champion and taking an...

Georges St. Pierres announced Friday he's stepping down as UFC welterweight champion and taking an indefinite leave of absence. (USA Today)

Neil Springer, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:58 PM ET

It's an unfortunate reality of combat sports that too many fighters don't know when to step away from the limelight.

Whether it's the result of the intoxicating thrills of being on top of the world, or years of bad financial decisions, the history books are littered with competitors who overstayed their welcome.

Fighters who leave during their primes are sadly the exception, rather than the rule.

Not only has Georges (Rush) St. Pierre made the sensible decision to take an indefinite leave of absence from mixed martial arts, he's set an example other professional athletes can learn from, even if he may one day return to the cage.

If a fighter can't retain the laser focus necessary to compete at a high level, there's no shame in calling it quits.

St. Pierre is arguably the biggest star MMA has ever produced. Yet, none of the money, the fame, nor the controversy from his last fight can deter him from fixing his personal life -- and rightly so.


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