UFC president Dana White has been rather adamant in his recent demands concerning Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. White believes the champ owes Johny Hendricks an immediate rematch, but there is no official announcement about GSP’s next move. Some feel that White has been too harsh in the longtime champ.
Putting out any potential fires, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta spoke up at today’s MMA regulation press conference in New York to clarify exactly what the promotion is thinking in regards to GSP’s peculiar situation:
“I think that Dana was misunderstood. And I think hopefully he’s trying to clarify that. GSP doesn’t owe us anything. Obviously, if he chooses to retire, then so be it. He will retire and become a champion, someone that everyone will look up to as one of the great champions in the UFC.
If he decides to fight again, then great. I think, where the confusion was, when Georges never communicated anything to us prior to the fight relative to that he may be making an announcement. I think Dana said that he had talked to him and he said, ‘No, everything is fine.’ Then after the fight, the announcement that he made was very vague.
And I think what Dana was trying to say was that, either you’re retired or you’re not, right? We just can’t put the UFC belt on the shelf for an undefined period; basically put it in limbo forever.” – via MMA Mania
The CEO makes an excellent point in pointing out that while St. Pierre should be respected as a great champion, it is unfair to hold up the Welterweight division for an undetermined amount of time. And St. Pierre’s announcement was indeed very vague.
He said he needed time off to attend to personal issues, but when a litany of possible problems arose, they were all shot down. Yesterday GSP tweeted a photo of himself enjoying life on a beach somewhere.
If there are no truly pressing issues, then that’s great. No reason to hold up what is one of the most stacked divisions in all of MMA. Fertitta showed a ton of class by saying that GSP doesn’t owe them anything, a stark contrast to White’s position of the last few days.
But the fact remains that St. Pierre won an incredibly controversial split decision at UFC 167. If his head is still in the fight game, one has to think that GSP will simply not allow his last fight to end with such debate.