The UFC Versus Georges St-Pierre
By Christopher Jester
Strange times are ahead with the UFC and their former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. Although, GSP was silent as the grave after the shellacking he received from Johny Hendricks about the reasons behind wanting to take a “break” from MMA, he recently revealed that part of the why was because the UFC did not support him leading up to the UFC 167 main event.
The support that Georges St-Pierre was looking for came from wanting to double the efforts of drug testing for his bout against Hendricks. The inspiration of this, most likely came from his previous opponents B.J. Penn and Nick Diaz who called out St-Pierre as a user of PEDs. To make a long story short, St-Pierre wanted to pay for Hendricks to get tested to help him raise this awareness through the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) but Hendricks decided against it due to suspicion of a biased relationship between VADA and the champion.
Even with Hendricks out of the equation, St-Pierre went on to complete the testing with VADA. He later stated, “I wanted to do something for the sport. Unfortunately, it didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but I have no choice in it. We’re going to fight and it is what it is. I’m doing it because I said I would do it and I’m a man of my word.”
To make matters worse, UFC President Dana White said that the whole ordeal looked bad on both fighters. This likely was the catalyst that sparked the lack of support idea from Georges St-Pierre. Fumes only raised more when GSP went into a public tirade about his disappointment in the UFC in a video scrum recently posted on RDS.ca.
“The only thing I want to say is, I wanted to do something to help those who are honest in the sport. Believe me or not, I never took drugs in my life. I’ll take a lie detector test, I don’t care. I’m for anti-doping tests. I think it’s a big problem in the sport.” St-Pierre said.
He eventually referred to the UFC as a monopoly who has so much power that none of its fighters can speak out because of fear of being punished. St-Pierre continued, saying that his ultimate goal was to help mixed martial arts become mainstream like other popular sports, because drug testing is the right move.
“Be a man and pick up the phone,” Dana White retorted after hearing of GSP’s comments.
All boyish posturing aside, the subject was driven home to many as immature and not fair to GSP. After all, the idea behind what St-Pierre was doing is altruistic and noble. He stood in front of this campaign for extra drug testing as basically Captain Canada, and he knew that the consequences of doing so meant that many athletes would turn against him; the vast majority of them PED users. What he was unlikely expecting was that the UFC and its upper-management would scoff and mock at the whole ordeal.
The latter is probably what made it worse. White had called the debate between GSP and Hendricks “dumb” originally. Now it has escalated into a battle of words between the UFC and their biggest moneymaker. Or former biggest moneymaker and perhaps that is where it ends and begins. St-Pierre is no longer its largest draw in pay-per-view sales. Perhaps just as much as Georges St-Pierre felt left out to dry, imaginably the UFC feels like they were left alone to tango as well. Think about it, was it not Dana White who said at the UFC 167 post-fight press conference that Georges St-Pierre owes the fans and Hendricks a rematch. Translation: don’t you owe the UFC a million plus pay-per-view?
What makes this so disparaging is that Georges St-Pierre has been the calmest and most conservative fighter the UFC has had on its roster. He has been the poster boy for the UFC for years and has never said anything about the organization. Until now. That is what makes so many people perturbed at the UFC. This guy has nearly slaved for the company and it appears that once he says something that they disagree with, they begin to attack his character. It harkens back to what St-Pierre said in the video scrum about the UFC punishing those who speak out.
Now the argument could be made that the UFC did not support their golden boy at the time of his need because asking for additional testing through VADA basically spat on the face of the partnership the UFC has with the local commissions. It is as if saying that the commissions and the UFC do not do enough to test for PEDs, random and more advanced in-depth drug testing. From that stance, the UFC has a point – particularly when they act as a governing body where a commission does not exist.
The ideal situation would be for each party to sit down and discuss this. But we all know that neither party is backing down with their tails in between their legs. Dana White is not going to back down. Georges St-Pierre appears like a man with a point to make. Unfortunately this does not appear to have an end in sight. This is just round one in the bout of the UFC versus GSP.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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