Ultimate Fighting Championship UFC) Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre successfully defended his 170-pound title last night (Sat., Nov. 16, 2013) at UFC 167 from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, earning a split decision (see scorecards here) over Johny Hendricks in the main event of the evening.
But, according to UFC President Dana White, he really didn't because Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) is "atrocious" and "incompetent," with its appointed judges botching another call. Then, in his post-fight speech (read it here), St. Pierre announced that he was "stepping away" from mixed martial arts (MMA) for a "little bit" because of some personal stuff.
"Personal stuff" that was keeping him awake at night, driving him "crazy."
White fired back at UFC 167 post-fight press conference (watch it here), demanding that St. Pierre grant Hendricks an immediate rematch and declaring that he will not retire from the sport or walk away until he does the right thing for UFC fans, the company and "Bigg Rigg."
And all this drama unfolded in the span of about two hours between the conclusion of the promotion's 20th Anniversary show and the presser. Well before White and St. Pierre had the opportunity to sit down and talk about what the hell is going on inside the delicate, and obsessive, mind of "Rush."
When the pair finally did hash it out, White explained at his UFC 167 post-fight media scrum (watch it here) that he thinks everything is going to be alright once the dust settles.
"[I talked to Georges St. Pierre]. I'm in a better mood now. [We talked] about his problems and his problems aren't as bad as he thinks they are. I'm not Dr. Oz, or whoever that guy is, but Lorenzo is still in there talking to him. We'll get through this. I'm confident that he will come back. One of the things that makes Georges as great as he is, is that things drive him crazy. Little things drive him nuts … like the whole obsession thing he was talking about. He's obsessing over something else right now that he thinks might be the end of the world now but it's not. He got his ass whooped tonight, whether that was it or it wasn't, I don't know. I wasn't being harsh, it's reality…. He probably should have bit his tongue, but he didn't. And he knows that. Like he said, he just got his head punched in. He said he didn't know what round it was, that the fight was over when it was over. He was hurt badly, hurt badly. How anyone can score that fight where they think he won … that kid is hurt. He's hurt right now. His face is busted up, his head isn't right. He got beat up tonight. I think everything is fine and go just like it always does."
White was seemingly relieved, and certainly much less defiant, about his stance on St. Pierre's announcement. He would not go into detail about the actual "issue(s)" at hand, but it must be a situation with which he can empathize to be so confident that it will all work out in the end.
And perhaps after six years as a world champion, with all the stresses and rigors that come along with the responsibility, St. Pierre simply cracked because of personal pressure.
"How long has Georges been here ... eight, nine years? This is the first time Georges St. Pierre had a problem. It happens, he's a human being.... He was very emotional about some shit that was going on with him right now and it's really not that bad, but to him it's bad, it's the end of the world. He's mentally strong guy, he's a hard-working guy, he's an honest guy. He'll work it out."
If and when he is able to return to the Octagon, White made it clear that he will rematch Hendricks immediately. When that might happen, especially at this early stage, is a mystery.
The good news is that St. Pierre will get right eventually and return to UFC sooner rather than later ... hopefully.