Mixed-martial arts star Georges St-Pierre is taking a break from fighting, and the UFC welterweight champion will give up the 170-pound title he's held since April 2008.

At a fan meet-and-greet Friday afternoon, the 32-year-old Quebec native told reporters he needed a break from the sport.

“I can’t do it anymore, I’m at the end of my rope,” St-Pierre said in his native French. “I have to end now in order to lead a normal life.”

St-Pierre said he needed time off to “rediscover” competition, and purposely left the door open for a return to the sport in the future.

“I know many professional athletes announce their retirement and then they do come back,” he said. “I’d rather call this a break; that way I have a choice of coming back or not.”

There have been questions about St-Pierre's future since his controversial, split-decision win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 last month.

Immediately after the fight, he said that he needed time away from the sport to take care of personal matters and ponder his future. During the post-fight news conference, he told reporters that he "needed to think" and alluded to "stuff going on" in his personal life.

He then left for vacation in Dubai and has been silent until Friday’s news conference.

St-Pierre has been unbeaten since April 2007, winning 12 straight fights.

With files from The Canadian Press