Saturday night's (Nov. 16, 2013) split-decision in the UFC 167 main event between Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks left many people screaming "controversy!" Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White is among that group of people.
To those who watched the fight between St. Pierre and Hendricks, it looked like it was going to be a very clear decision for Hendricks (highlights here). He landed the harder strikes over five rounds and their faces told the story. St. Pierre's looked like he was in a car accident (pic here). Hendricks' looked like he got done with a light run.
"Did he say he wants to retire? He didn't say 'I'm gonna retire, I'm hanging it up. It's been great everybody. Thanks a lot for all the years. See you later.' He said "I'm gonna take some time off.' First off, that decision that happens, you don't just say, 'Oh I'm going to take a while time off. Maybe I'll be back, maybe I won't.' ... You owe it to the fans, you owe it to the belt, you owe it to this company, and you owe it to Johny Hendricks give him that opportunity for him to fight again."
Strong words, but true.
Had St. Pierre formally retired, UFC would be able to move forward with the Welterweight division. By saying he needs to take some years off, he's not only holding up the division, but also holding onto a belt that he has no intentions of defending.
"What happened tonight is not Georges St. Pierre's fault, he didn't choose himself the winner. I know Georges as a man, I know the type of person that he is and the right thing needs to be done here. The guy is going to go home, rest and fight Johny Hendricks again."
Good to know that cooler heads will prevail.