It’s rare to see a reigning UFC champion publicly lash out at his employers, but welterweight superstar Georges St. Pierre has done just that in a new French-language interview with La Presse. The basic story is this: In July, St. Pierre sought out additional drug testing with VADA for his upcoming title fight against Johny Hendricks, with the intention of making sure the playing field was completely level. Then, negotiations with Hendricks broke down and St. Pierre ended up looking like a villain. But instead of supporting St. Pierre in his efforts, the UFC decided to stay out of it. (UFC President Dana White called St. Pierre’s pursuit of VADA testing “a little weird,” and has maintained that athletic commission drug testing is enough to keep PEDs out of MMA.) And that bothers the hell out of St. Pierre.
“I do not know if they (UFC) are willing to support me,” St. Pierre told La Presse. “I thought they were ready to support me, but I was disappointed, very disappointed with this turn of events. There are things I can not say. I do not want to get back to the UFC because it is my employer. However, I do not take journalists for idiots. They are able to read between the lines. They are able to see what happens.”
“It bothers me a little to fight against guys who use performance-enhancing drugs, because it is not fair,” he continued. “There are those who say: ‘Doping, it does not bother me.’ Me, it bothers me. But I’ll do it anyway, the fight. Without accusing anyone, if there are some who do not want to do the tests, I’ll do the fighting. It will not be the first time. But it’s just that I’m getting a little tired.”
How tired, exactly? So tired that GSP is now making the first retirement threat of his career, via his longtime trainer Firas Zahabi:
(tweetcap via BloodyElbow)
Already the most dominant welterweight champion in UFC history, GSP has very little left to prove — outside of a hypothetical run at middleweight, which he’s never seemed too thrilled about. If his perspective is that the UFC isn’t doing all it can to prevent PEDs from infiltrating the sport, you can see how it might make him disenchanted with his profession.
Then again, St. Pierre’s retirement threat might just be the temporary product of a foul mood. Anderson Silva has been doing this sort of thing for five years now. And of course, any fighter can retire when things aren’t going well; it’s staying retired that seems to be the tough part in this sport. What does GSP expect to do with his life, film those awful NOS Active commercials all day?
I will say this, though: If St. Pierre really is losing motivation, retirement probably is the best option for him. GSP belongs to that rarified group of MMA phenoms whose talent far exceeds the rest of their peers, and who only begin to lose fights when they stop wanting victory more than their opponents. (See also: Fedor, Anderson.) So which would you rather see — a prematurely-retired Georges St. Pierre, or a disinterested GSP who sticks around until he starts losing?