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."
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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."