LAS VEGAS -- Georges St-Pierre may or may not still be the UFC welterweight champion.
The Montreal native left the Octagon at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with his belt Saturday night, after scoring a controversial split decision victory in the main event of UFC 167.
But after getting two of three 48-47 scores, St-Pierre said that he plans on taking a break from the sport of mixed martial arts.
"I have to hang up my gloves for a little bit," said St-Pierre (25-2). "Thank you to the UFC for giving me the chance. I am very emotional."
It is unclear in the show's immediate aftermath how long the Montreal native will be out, and whether he will relinquish the title while he steps aside..
The announcement put a cap on a fight that was undoubtedly one of the best in a year full of them, and one that many felt Hendricks won.
The opening round was the round on which the fight hinged. St-Pierre scored a quick takedown and appeared he was going to put Hendricks (15-2) in for a long night. But Hendricks regained his bearings, and by the round's later moments, was closing the distance and landing.
Two of three judges gave St-Pierre the round.
Since the two fighters' wrestling often canceled one another out, it became largely a standup battle. And Hendricks had one of his strongest rounds in the second, as he began to asset his trademark of pushing forward and landing the big left hand.
St-Pierre seemed to have weathered the storm by the end of the second, and he scored a clear win in the third. St-Pierre's counters were more effective, and as the round wore on, he began to get off first and put Hendricks on his heels. A mix of kicks kept Hendricks from closing the distance.
Hendricks answered in the fourth. St-Pierre slipped, Hendricks pounced, and Hendricks landed punches and elbow from top position. He chose take the fight back standing, and continued to pout it on to a bloodied GSP.
St-Pierre fought like his belt was hanging in the balance in round fight. He pushed the pace, landed takedowns, and at one point dropped Hendricks with a big right hand.
The tension was thick as the judges' scores were read. Hendricks dropped to his hands and knees as the final card went in St-Pierre's favor.
"I thought I clearly won the fight," said Hendricks, who had a six-fight win streak snapped. "Georges is a great guy, hey, this fight I just fought, I thought I won. G is a great competitor, it sucks, but I'm coming back, I'll get that belt. ... I want that belt, that's what I just earned, but it was taken away from me. I swear to god that won't happen again."
After splitting on round one, the judges agreed on the rest, giving Hendricks rounds two and four and St-Pierre three and five.
With the victory, St-Pierre, who has held the title since April, 2008, set records for most UFC wins (19) and most wins in UFC title fights (12).
"This was my toughest fight," St-Pierre said. "I lost my memory a little bit in the fight, I couldn't see one of my eyes, he really messed me up. I wasn't surprised. I lot a little bit of memory of what happened, I want to tip my hat to Johny Hendricks."