Vacating the Title

Shaun Al-Shatti from MMAfighting:

"I believe one day that I will come back," St-Pierre said. "The problem is I don't know how long. I cannot put myself in another training camp right now. I feel like mentally I need a break. That's why, I don't want to make anybody wait. I just want to do it when I feel like it, and I'll become stronger when I will. It's going to be up to me.

"If I give you a date, I immediately put myself back into a date, into pressure, (and) I'm going to start thinking about it. It has to be on my terms. I don't know when, I don't know if. I don't know, I think I will. I can't say 100 percent. But right now I don't want the people thinking about me."

This whole saga has been fascinating to me on so many levels. Here you have Georges St. Pierre, renowned perfectionist and the greatest UFC welterweight in history, walking away from the belt he fought for fifteen times because he has issues in his life he has to deal with. I think it's courageous. Obviously it's easier to do something like this when you're well off financially, but he's a megastar and I'm sure he has felt a sense of obligation to the UFC, the fans and the sport more generally that goes beyond what he needs to do to pay the bills. As best as we can tell from this mediated distance, he seems like a thoughtful, respectful and private person and that this break is something he really needs for his own mental wellbeing.

Everyone should read this great piece from the great Chuck Mindenhall, also from

"Every fight it’s like you add weight on your shoulders. Every fight you add weight, you add weight, you add weight. At some point it becomes so heavy that I have a hard time carrying it myself. So for me, right now, in order to keep my mental equilibrium…I just feel like I can’t go through another training camp right now, and I don’t know when I will be able to."

This part is what we can all learn from. Knowing when to walk away from something we are engaged in can be so hard. This man has defined himself as a disciple of this sport, nothing short of an ambassador. To some people he is this sport. But everyone has a limit; everyone has their problems. Even in the calmest bodies of water there are struggles going on below the surface. In some way or another we can all relate to that feeling of having weight on our shoulders that he talks about here.

We need to remember that we all need to be brave enough to walk away from the things we might think define us, because they generally don't. If it gets to the point that thing we love is doing us harm, sometimes you've got to step aside.