UFC Octagon announcer Joe Rogan was the first man to interview UFC Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre after his hotly debated split decision win over Johny Hendricks in the main event of last Saturday’s UFC 167. GSP told Rogan that he needed time off to focus on personal issues. He also appeared to be quite punch drunk from absorbing the vaunted power shots of Hendricks.
While it appeared that Rogan had definitely thought Hendricks had won as the decision was announced, focus soon shifted to the GSP’s next move. While it’s unclear if he will actually retire or just take an extended leave, Rogan appeared on the Opie & Anthony Show to discuss the fight and his feelings that St. Pierre should retire due to the head trauma he experienced against Hendricks:
"I think Georges should retire. I think it's head kicks. That fight he had some serious memory loss (at UFC 167). I think he's taken too many shots. An interesting statistic is that Georges has taken more punches and kicks in the last three fights than any of his fights, ever. In fact, 50% of the shots he's taken his entire career were in the last three fights. I think he should get out. I know the UFC probably doesn't want to hear me say that. I know that could be a huge rematch.”
"I think they should just give Johny Hendricks the belt. I think Johny Hendricks won that fight. I think there's real problems with judging and I don't think there should be a way for a guy to win a fight, but yet lose a fight."
When Rogan lays it out like that, yes, there are some scary ramifications on the career of one of the greatest champions MMA has ever seen. Rogan makes an interesting point when he says that St. Pierre has absorbed more damage in his last three bouts than any other stretch.
And he’s right.
St. Pierre may have dominated Carlos Condit upon his return from ACL surgery but he was also nearly finished by a big headkick from Condit. He may have also beaten Nick Diaz in a one-sided affair at March’s UFC 158, but St Pierre did show some signs of damage on his face. And of course he was given the most thorough beating of his lengthy title reign against Hendricks.
The champ appeared out of it after UFC 167’s main event. Rogan is never one to mince words, and his stance on the current UFC Welterweight title picture is definitely not one that the UFC brass will subscribe to.
But all business aside, is it time for GSP to hang up the gloves? There’s not much left for him to accomplish other than gaining a more convincing win over Hendricks to silence the doubters.
That fight would without a doubt be one of the biggest bouts in UFC history. Many feel that it is needed to put the lingering controversy to rest. However, is it smart for St. Pierre to continue absorbing the damage that he’s undergone in recent years?