Georges St. Pierre On Recent UFC Drug Scandals: Money Runs The World

georges st-pierre

It probably should have been expected that longtime former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre was bumped up a spot (or two, depending on who you ask) in MMA’s speculative “greatest of all-time” rankings in the wake of Anderson Silva’s controversial failure for two anabolic steroids prior to his UFC 183 decision win over Nick Diaz.

“Rush,” who vacated the belt in December 2013 amidst several concerns about the perceived dirtiness of the sport, has long been a proponent of increased drug testing in MMA. He even went as far as to say that Silva stepped into the Octagon using a ‘biological weapon,’ and his famed trainer Firas Zahabi proclaimed that St. Pierre was indeed the best ever after comparing Silva to disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

St. Pierre appeared on this week’s The MMA Hour to further elaborate on his feelings about performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in the UFC. He said he wasn’t happy about Silva failing, and that he actually felt bad for “The Spider,” whom he stills views as the best of all-time:

“It’s really unfortunate. I feel bad for everything, even for Anderson. No, I’m not happy. For me, it doesn’t change the fact; I think Anderson is the best pound-for-pound in the world and of all-time.”

But aside from his personal feelings, “Rush” reiterated that going into the Octagon on PEDs is like fighting with a weapon, which lead him to believe Silva’s fight with Diaz never should have taken place:

“I would consider a performance-enhancing drug like a weapon, and you should not be allowed to fight with it. And yes, the fight should not have happened, but unfortunately it did, and nobody got hurt.”

He touched on his overarching stance on PEDs and why the UFC needs to enact radical change:

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“It’s not Anderson or anybody I want to talk about it. I’m not surprised about it. I wanted to change the system. What it shows now is we got a big problem, and they need to do something about it. I don’t wish nobody got caught using performance-enhancing drugs; I wish nobody got caught. There’s a lot of cleaning up to do.”

Moving on to discuss the hot topic of his potential return, St. Pierre said that he does get the itch at times, but will not come back until MMA is cleaned up:

“I’m not going to lie; more time goes by, more I have the itch (to return). I’m able to do some movement I cannot do before. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me. Right now the sport needs to get clean up. The sport is not clean. That’s one of my major concerns.”

The former champion described how UFC President Dana White contacted him to fight on April’s UFC 186 from Montreal or to fight Silva, propositions he turned down for the time being:

“He called me to fight Montreal and he texted me to see if I was interested in fighting Anderson Silva before the whole thing came out. I said, “No,” and my answer was negative. I never said never, but now is not that time for me. I’m not interested right now. I’m busy with other stuff too, and I took a break.”

And although the NAC is catching a ton of backlash for how they dealt with the recent out-of-competition drug testing, St. Pierre thinks that while they’re not where they need to be, they are making concerted efforts to get there:

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“People talk bad about the athletic commission. It’s not where it should be right now, as it is, but I think they’re make a lot of progress cleaning up the sport. There’s room for a lot of improvement. Right now it’s not where it should be.”

At the end of the day, St. Pierre wasn’t surprised that Jon Jones and Silva were allowed to fight after failing, because cancelling the bouts would have cost the promotion too much money:

“Yeah, but you know, money runs the world. Imagine there is tons of promotion, and who knows? People are not stupid; they know how the world works. There is a way to deal with this.”

St. Pierre also outlined what he thinks should be more strict punishment for getting caught using PEDs:

“I don’t know if you should be cut, but it should be more severe for sure. If you do steroid once, muscle memory. I don’t think you should be banned for a lifetime. I think it’s not all black or all white; sometimes it’s gray a little bit. But it should definitely be more severe.”

He believes that the UFC, as MMA’s forefront promotion, should be the ones to spearhead radical change in terms of the war on drugs:

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“I think it should be UFC that takes a stand and goes forward with this.”

Along those lines, he stated that if he were to return, both he and his potential opponent would have to agree to submit to thorough and all-encompassing testing from an independent source like VADA:

“A condition for me to return, if I want to return, it’s mandatory that my fight be tested by an organization that is independent and competent like VADA. It need to be done like that, otherwise I’m not coming back. I don’t need it – I’m wealthy, I’m healthy, and I don’t need to put my life at risk I like the competition, Il like my sport, but considering the risk, it’s not worth it for me.”

In closing, St. Pierre said that fans should not lose hope for their once-revered heroes, but speculated that things could unfortunately get worse before they get better. If it does get better, then he could possibly make his way back to the cage:

“They shouldn’t lost hope. Hopefully, in an idealistic world we aren’t going to see more heroes falling, but unfortunately with the system, we might see other guys. Once it’s done, if I still feel the itch, maybe I’ll come back, but right now, I’m not ready to make a comeback right now.”

Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports