After longtime UFC Welterweight champion was announced as the highly controversial winner of a split decision over Johny Hendricks in the main event of last night’s UFC 167, St. Pierre announced that there were things in his life that he needed to take care of. That would require some time off from mixed martial arts. Although GSP didn’t officially retire he was on the shelf until further notice.
Not surprisingly, this drew the ire of UFC president Dana White, who thought that GSP owed Hendricks an immediate rematch. But St. Pierre has yet to agree to anything of the sort, detailing his issues at the post-fight press conference:
“I get very emotional after the fight. You know, I have so much stress, so much stuff going on in my life right now and I don’t know what to say. It is what it is, you know. … I have stuff going on in my life. I need to make a point in my life, okay? This is my personal life, I cannot speak to you about this. … I understand the point of view for the UFC and everything. It’s bad for them if I leave like this. Like I said, I need to make a point man. I can’t sleep at night now, I’m going crazy. I have issues, man. I need to relax. I need to get out for a while. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Indeed the embattled champion was quite emotional after taking the most thorough (and only) five round beating of his storied career. St. Pierre may be putting the UFC in a bind by immediately stepping away after a fight that ended in such heated controversy. But at least he was honest and upfront with fans and media.
It’s also hard to believe that a champion like St. Pierre will let the doubt of his razor thin victory slide off his shoulders. He’s extremely motivated to be the absolute best martial artist in the world. This may just be both his blessing and his curse, causing him to apparently lose sleep due to his obsession with fighting.
Hendricks was calm in defeat, appearing supremely confident that he had won the fight. For many, the championship bout was an easier call than UFC 165’s Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson bout at UFC 165 in September.
What do you make of St. Pierre’s personal issues? Is now the wrong time to step back from fighting? IS St. Pierre were to fight Hendricks again, would his head be fully focused on defeating the surging “Bigg Rigg?”
Outer Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie for USA TODAY Sports