The UFC is in trouble. If you don’t think the UFC is in trouble than check out UFC president Dana White’s press conference after 167. Ironically it now appears the success of the UFC in 2014 will not be decided until the final fight of the year at UFC 168.
[adinserter block=”1″]The roof started to collapse following Georges St. Pierre’s controversial win at 167 over Johny Hendricks. GSP squeaked out a controversial decision and followed up his win with an even bigger shocker. The champ announced he was taking an indefinite leave of absence due to personal issues. While he didn’t retire, he did announce that he wouldn’t fight for a while.
Dana White was not happy! At the post-fight press conference White went off on the champion. White more or less said that GSP owed it to the company to stick around and isn’t ready to let the champ just walk away.
“He didn’t say he was going to retire. He said I’m going to take some time off. You don’t just say, hey I’m going to take some time off, maybe I’ll be back, maybe I won’t. You owe it to the fans, you owe it to that belt, you owe it to this company, and you owe it to Johny Hendricks to give him that opportunity to fight again, unless you’re going to retire.
There’s no I’m going to take a hiatus, I’m going to take a leave of absence, whatever it was he was saying, that’s not how it works.”
Why is this such a big deal? Certainly a company as large as the UFC can survive without one player, albeit his most successful world champion right? Maybe, but December 28 could spell the beginning of a deep descent for a company that Dana White has compared to the NFL.
The future of the UFC rests in the hands of Anderson Silva. Anderson Silva will get his rematch with Chris Weidman. If Silva loses there is a huge chance that the G.O.A.T. will announce his retirement. GSP’s hiatus may have precipitated this and the UFC is completely screwed going into 2014 without its two big stars.
Why would Anderson Silva not retire if he loses to Weidman? He has plenty of money and has cemented his MMA legacy over the last several years. The only reason for Silva to stick around would be a potential Super Fight with GSP. With GSP out of the picture there is nothing left for Silva to do without a title to defend. The Jon Jones fight isn’t happening and without a money fight on the table, I predict (and I believe that the UFC thinks this as well) that Silva will retire.
Now what would happen o the UFC without either guy? There is nobody even remotely close to filling Silva and/or GSP’s shoes as a draw. Jon Jones is a star but is nowhere close to the pay per view draw that Silva or GSP are. Maybe if he is seen as the top star without GSP and Silva it helps him as a draw? A UFC calendar in 2014 without Silva and GSP is a pretty dismal calendar when you look at predicting buyrates.
Dana White may think that GSP owes the UFC but he owes them nothing. In my mind he paid back the UFC by accepting a fight with Nick Diaz that he had no business accepting. Georges has given the UFC everything he has had for the last five years as champion so the idea that he owes the company anything is selfish and just foolish.
[adinserter block=”2″]I don’t know what will happen with Georges. Whether he fights again or not in 2014 will become a much larger story if Anderson Silva joins him on the sidelines following UFC 168. Talk about huge stakes and a lot of negotiating power for Anderson Silva. How ironic that these roads always lead back to the Spider?
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