End of an Era: GSP vacates welterweight title

Published on Friday, 12/13/13, at 4:42 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

Georges ‘Rush’ St. Pierre vacated the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s welterweight title today at a special media conference call.

GSP had defended the 170-pound title nine consecutive times, but most felt he lost to Johny Hendricks last month. St. Pierre got battered and bloodied by Hendricks’ strikes, yet somehow captured a split-decision victory.

GSP said there’s nothing wrong with him physically and that he’ll definitely return to the Octagon at some point. He just wants a break from the rigors that come with being champion.

On one hand, you can certainly make the argument that he simply doesn’t want to get his ass kicked by Hendricks again in a few months. Then again, he has been a great champ and done so many wonderful things for the sport of mixed martial arts.

After 22 fights, including 15 with a belt at stake, the dude simply wants to take a vacation. And that decision to do so is made much easier when compared to training to fight Hendricks again.

Therefore, Hendricks and Robbie Lawler will face each other for the welterweight strap in the main event at UFC 171 in Dallas on March 15. I’m making Hendricks a -165 favorite vs. Lawler.

Also, Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira has been moved from UFC 171 to the main event of UFC 172. 5Dimes has Jones as a -750 ‘chalk’ vs. Teixeira (+450).

The odds for Rashad Evans vs. Daniel Cormier were released this week. Cormier is a -210 favorite over Evans (+160).

I have one pick for Saturday’s UFC on Fox 9 card. I like the fight between Chad Mendes and Nik Lentz to go ‘under’ 2.5 rounds at a -130 price.

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