EDMONTON - Georges St-Pierre is remaining mum on his fighting future, but he hasn't ruled out a return.
A special guest of the Edmonton Rush for their 17-6 victory in their National Lacrosse League home-opener against the Colorado Mammoth on Saturday, St-Pierre made his first public appearance since suggesting he may be retiring from MMA fighting in the wake of his controversial split decision win in his welterweight title defence over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in Las Vegas in November.
St-Pierre said that taking some true time away from the sport has been something he badly needed both physically and mentally.
"I just had my first Christmas and new year with family without thinking of training because I had some guy who wanted to beat me up in the future," said the 32-year-old Montreal native. "I was very happy with that. I am not putting any pressure on myself right now. I needed to have a vacation and relax."
Many have speculated that St-Pierre left the sport as abruptly as he did because of dissatisfaction with his fight against Hendricks, but he said he believes he deserved the victory.
"I do believe I won the fight," St-Pierre told reporters. "I believe I won the first, third and fifth rounds. It was a very tough fight. In terms of scoring, it was probably the toughest fight I had. In terms of damage it was not the toughest fight. It was a very close fight. I know some people they score it on the other side and some people score it for me. I respect everybody's opinion. But I would not accept the belt and the title if I had not believed myself that I had won the fight."
St-Pierre hasn't lost a bout since April 2007, a record run that includes 19 UFC victories and nine straight title defences.
Whether or not he will return to the ring is something that St-Pierre himself says he can't answer at this time.
"I have a lot of plans for the future that I can't talk about right now," he said. "I have to keep my secrets. People will find out soon enough once I have made certain decisions. I don't know myself if this is a retirement or not. I just have needed to relax for a long time. There is some stuff I needed to do. Maybe I will never come back. Maybe I will. There are a lot of things in my life I haven't had a chance to do when I was competing. I want to do some of those things."
Zack Greer and Mark Matthews each had a five-goal performance for Edmonton.
Also scoring for the Rush, who improved to 2-0 to start the season, were Jarrett Davis with three, Riley Loewen with a pair and single-goal showings by Cory Conway and Curtis Knight.
Drew Westervelt led the way with three goals for the Mammoth (1-3), who lost both of their games on a weekend trip to Alberta. Adam Jones had two goals and Sean Pollock scored the other single for Colorado.
Edmonton scored four times on its first five shots and never looked back from there.
The Rush also defeated the Mammoth 13-10 in their first game of the season on Dec. 28 in Colorado.