GSP puts plans on hold

St-pierre to talk fight­ing fu­ture after va­ca­tion

Metro Canada (Ottawa) - - Front Page -

Newly crowned mid­dleweight cham­pion Ge­orges St-pierre says he will dis­cuss his fight­ing fu­ture with the UFC after a planned va­ca­tion.

Right now his con­tract has him fight­ing in­terim mid­dleweight ti­tle-holder Robert Whit­taker next.

“But a lot of things can hap­pen in MMA. You see things change all the time,” St-pierre told a me­dia con­fer­ence call Thurs­day.

The 36-year-old from Mon­treal said he is go­ing on hol­i­day “to for­get about fight­ing.”

“It’s not my job to think about that, it’s (for) the UFC and my agent. They’re go­ing to talk about it and see what the next move is.”

The mid­dleweight peck­ing or­der changed with the re­turn of St-pierre, who moved up a weight class to take on Michael Bisp­ing. The 185-pound land­scape changed even more when St-pierre, in his first fight in four years, sub­mit­ted Bisp­ing in the third round of Satur­day’s UFC 217 main event at Madi­son Square Garden.

St-pierre said he wasn’t sure what his fu­ture might hold, al­though he sug­gested the an­swer might be com­ing in a few weeks.

He did say that he would not hold up the mid­dleweight divi­sion.

“I don’t plan to hold the ti­tle and not de­fend it ... I know there’s other guys in line — (for- mer cham­pion) Luke Rock­hold, Whit­taker and all these guys. They have a fam­ily to feed.”

St-pierre joins Randy Cou­ture, B.J. Penn and Conor Mcgre­gor as the only fight­ers to win UFC ti­tles in two weight classes.

The 26-year-old Whit­taker (204-0) won the in­terim 185-pound ti­tle in June with a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion over Yoel Romero at UFC 213. Bisp­ing was in­jured at the time.

St-pierre (26-2-0) had not fought since mak­ing his ninth straight wel­ter­weight ti­tle de­fence at UFC 167 on Nov. 16, 2013, when he scored a split de­ci­sion over Johny Hen­dricks.

St-pierre said the big change was that Satur­day night he wanted to be un­der the spot­light.

“When I left the sport more than four years ago, I was in a bad place men­tally. I was not hav­ing fun. I was hav­ing fun Satur­day, I mean hav­ing fun to a cer­tain ex­tent be­cause you get hit in the head ... I did this be­cause I wanted to, not be­cause I had to.” A fed­eral ap­peals court in New York City has de­nied Dal­las Cow­boys run­ning back Ezekiel El­liott’s bid to keep a six-game sus­pen­sion over al­leged do­mes­tic vi­o­lence on hold. El­liott was in court and the de­nial of the in­junc­tion makes him in­el­i­gi­ble in Sun­day’s game at At­lanta. The 2nd U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals ruled Thurs­day that El­liott didn’t meet the stan­dards to con­tinue block­ing the sus­pen­sion but or­dered a hear­ing as soon as it could be sched­uled.

Croa­tia blazes to­ward world Cup berth

Croa­tia took a de­ci­sive step to­ward World Cup qual­i­fi­ca­tion on Thurs­day, over­whelm­ing Greece for a 4-1 vic­tory in the first leg of their play­off in Za­greb, Croa­tia. Luka Mo­dric, Nikola Kalinic, Ivan Perisic and An­drej Kra­maric scored for the home side. In Belfast, a penalty awarded for a dis­puted hand ball gave Switzer­land a con­tro­ver­sial 1-0 vic­tory over North­ern Ire­land in their first leg.

Ryan Remiorz/the Cana­dian Press

ge­orges st-pierre

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