UFC 167: St. Pierre Says Personal Issues Making Him “Crazy” After Controversial Win
By Kelsey Mowatt
Heading into UFC 167 there was considerable speculation and discussion as to whether Georges St. Pierre might announce he’s retiring after the event, and following his controversial split decision win over Johny Hendricks, it’s become somewhat clear why. Although the welterweight champion didn’t announce that his storied career is over, St. Pierre did relay he’s taking a break from fighting due to personal issues. While things could change in the coming days, as of now, it looks like GSP-Hendricks II is on hold.
After St. Pierre showed up late for the post fight press conference, as he had to receive medical attention, the fighter stopped short of disclosing what specifically has been troubling him. That said, the typically soft spoken champion did make it clear that he’s going through a tough time (quote via MMA Junkie.com).
“I can’t sleep at night, man,” St. Pierre said. “I’m going crazy. I have issues and I need to get out for a while. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
While critics and St. Pierre ‘haters’ might argued that he’s taking a leave of absence due to the punishment he took from Hendricks, prior to Saturday’s event the champion said he had an announcement to make.
Due to comments Tristar coach Firas Zahabi and St. Pierre’s longtime mentor and friend Kristo Midoux made regarding St. Pierre’s possible retirement, speculation that the Montreal fighter could hang up the gloves reached a fever pitch. Zahabi argued that his comments had been taken out of context, while St. Pierre insisted he would not be calling it quits.
“Like I said, I need to think,” St. Pierre said. “There’s stuff going on in my life, and I need to make a point in my life again, and it’s my personal life. I can’t speak to you about this. I know you’re a reporter and I know your job is to find out, but I have a personal life, and I keep personal some of my stuff.”
Before St. Pierre showed up for the presser, UFC President Dana White blasted the fighter’s decision to step away from the game, by arguing he had an obligation to rematch Hendricks. White spoke with GSP after the press conference, however, and then relayed to the media he didn’t believe the veteran would be sidelined for too long (comment via MMA Fighting.com).
“I understand from the point of view for the UFC, it is bad for them if I leave like this,” St. Pierre said while discussing White’s initial criticism. “I need to make a point, man. I need to get out for awhile. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I feel like I am going to let everything out now, but I need to keep some things personal. I give everything I have tonight. Like it, love it, I give everything, that’s all I can say.”
While St. Pierre’s decision may bother some fans, and could spoil the UFC’s hopes of booking a rematch in the short term future, what’s transpired shouldn’t come as a massive shock. As pre-fight comments hinted at, not all is well with the popular champion, and due to his tremendous success he can afford to take the time he needs to recover.