UFC champ opens up on shock exit

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Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has declared that a lack of support from MMA's premier promoter was a contributing factor in his decision to take a break from the sport after a controversial win over Jonny Hendricks last November.

GSP took the surprise decision to vacate his belt after a 12th successive UFC victory last year, citing a number of factors including exhaustion at the pressure of carrying welterweight gold for the best part of five years.

Canada's leading fight star attempted to involve the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association in the testing for his scrap with Hendricks, but believes that the UFC failed to support his stance and revealed that position influenced his hiatus from the Octagon.

'Rush' is quoted by ESPN as telling reporters in Montreal on Tuesday: "It bothered me greatly. It was one of the reasons I decided to step aside.

"I tried to change things and unfortunately, maybe for money reasons, maybe for image, they were not ready to do that.

"I tried in a very diplomatic way and it didn't work, so it's unfortunate, but I believe it will happen sooner or later."

Hendricks and St.Pierre both passed all the mandatory tests carried out by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. with the topic of drug testing a particularly thorny issue in mixed martial arts.

St-Pierre is on a prolonged sabbatical from competition, a move which forced the UFC to look for a new welterweight champion rather than appoint an interim title holder.

Beaten challenger Hendricks is first in line for a crack at the belt, moved forward to take on Robbie Lawler for the vacant title at UFC 171 in Dallas, Texas on March 15th.

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