If Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White can change his views and opinions on women's mixed martial arts (MMA), then current Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre can do it, too.
"Rush" -- who has two sisters -- came under fire after he said it's hard for him to watch females beat each other up inside a steel cage because of his upbringing. The admission compelled Miesha Tate to brand the French-Canadian "ignorant." It was a label with which Tate's nemesis, UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey, surprisingly agreed.
Admittedly, St. Pierre said he doesn't watch much MMA, but after tuning into the first-ever "Rowdy" title defense against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 this past February, the dominant 170-pound champion had a change of heart.
His words during today's (July 31, 2013) "UFC World Tour" press conference:
"Let me clarify. In my free time, I don't watch fights all the time. I have a few fighters I like to watch. If it's not a friend or a guy I like to watch fight, I don't watch. I'm more a nerd. That's my lifestyle. Back in the day, I wasn't a fan of women's MMA and I saw the Cyborg brutalizing another women. I felt bad for the woman getting beat. I actually saw the fight of Ronda, the last fight and the armbar and I think she stands out from the other women. She has a nice set-up and she made me change my mind a little bit. I'm not against women fighting. I just didn't really pay attention to it before. I'm in it now so there's no problem with that. It was one girl going through another girl. It was maybe my heart, the way I am, I have two sisters. It hurt me to see one girl get a ferocious beating. Now things have evolved. I saw Ronda's fight almost getting choked and coming back."
Indeed, it seems the history-making battle between "Rowdy" and "Girl-Rilla" is still having a positive effect in the world of MMA.
St. Pierre, Rousey and Tate, as well as UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, Alexander Gustafsson, Junior dos Santos, Johny Hendricks and Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones, were in New York City today -- a state that still hasn't legalized the sport -- to promote their upcoming fights in what was the second leg of the promotion's "World Tour."
And judging by the picture above, it's safe to assume the time St. Pierre and Rousey have been spending together on tour talking up their respective title fights has given them the chance to settle all the differences.
No word if Tate received a hug from the champ, too.