Georges St-Pierre left a huge void in the UFC when he announced his retirement back in 2013. The former UFC welterweight champion is finally speaking out about the circumstances behind his departure and is pointing his finger at UFC management.
One of the strangest stories in MMA history took place back in 2013 when GSP suddenly vacated his welterweight championship and announced his semi-retirement following a close fight at UFC 167. UFC president Dana White brushed off the retirement while all kinds of rumors started hitting social media regarding the circumstances. GSP is finally setting the record straight.
A few weeks after leaving the UFC, GSP started speaking out about drugs, specifically PEDs in the UFC. GSP made it clear that the UFC’s disinterest in curbing the issue was a big factor in his hiatus. GSP told Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, that the topic caused a blowup between he and Dana White following his final fight.
If you recall, GSP was trying to have independent drug testing done before his fight with Johny Hendricks. Hendricks initially agreed to the testing, but later recanted citing a conflict of interest with GSP and the testing agency. GSP was not happy about it, nor was he happy about the UFC’s lack of support.
“I’m not going to tell you exactly what was said,” St-Pierre said. “But I was very pissed off and I used a lot of F words. … I was very angry, they did not support me because of the testing issues for the doping, they did not support me for the anti-doping. And I told them, why they didn’t support for this, and I didn’t understand it. I said ‘you guys need to wake up, because a lot of people are cheating, and stuff, and it’s a freaking joke. You guys are kind of protecting these guys, and it shouldn’t be like that.’ I was very angry.”
GSP told former UFC competitor Chael Sonnen that Dana White is partly responsible for him not coming back. Following GSP’s final fight, Dana White came out and blasted GSP for not giving Hendricks a rematch. This hit a nerve with GSP and is part of the reason he hasn’t come back.
“I’m going to tell you the truth. If this whole thing had not happened after the fight… maybe I would have already been back and maybe I would have given the rematch to Johny Hendricks,” GSP said.
St-Pierre also told Sonnen that UFC officials would not let him attend his post-fight press conference. GSP said that he knew something was strange when he got word from a UFC employee not to attend the presser.
“And then I found out Dana was saying I was gone to hospital and I was badly hurt. I was like, what is wrong with this? Because I didn’t know what was going on. I understand Dana was pissed because I was leaving with the belt. I got it. But he could have done it with a bit of better class, you know?”
White recently questioned whether GSP was truly hungry to come back and fight.
“It’d be great if he comes back, yes, I love Georges St-Pierre — amazing athlete — but comeback talk? I laugh at it. To be a world champion, you have to be hungry.
“That’s not GSP. Not even close.”
GSP thinks differently.
“There are different ways of being hungry,” he said. “I still can be hungry, you can be more hungry than people who have nothing. I have so much to lose, because of my pride, the pride is my most important strength, I’m a very proud person, and I would never go back and make a fool of myself be humiliated, because I’m a very proud guy. I have so much to lose, that’s what’s going to makes me hungry, and be willing to do better than anyone, there’s different ways to be hungry.”
The bottom line here is the UFC president needs to put his ego aside and let things play out for the betterment of the company. Goading GSP and mocking him is certainly not going to help repair their strained relationship. With Ronda Rousey’s future in question, the UFC could certainly use another superstar to come to its rescue. GSP is certainly that guy. Yet if the president can’t keep his mouth shut, 2016 could be a challenging year for the promotion.