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Tag: Georges St. Pierre

The UFC’s Future More Uncertain Than Ever in the Wake of GSP’s Departure


(Photo via Getty)

The UFC can undergo a new renaissance or it can further fade into Toughman on FX-level obscurity—and it’s actions in the aftermath of GSP’s hiatus (and possible retirement) from MMA will determine which path the company takes.

GSP’s departure has come at a devastating time. The UFC is in a rut. TUF has long since stopped being the advertising vehicle/farm system it was years ago. Ratings are down. The worst part of all is that PPV—the UFC’s chief source of revenue—is lagging too. The culprit is a lack of stars, or rather the UFC’s apparent inability to replace the fading ones.

The UFC lost Chuck Liddell. The UFC lost Brock Lesnar. Rashad Evans, a good draw in his own right, is aging, as is the recently-toppled Anderson Silva. Ronda Rousey lost her luster and already put an expiration date on her career.

Now they’re short a Canadian superhero, a man who’s drawn an average of 800,000 buys over the last three years. And there are no young studs to pick up the slack. Jon Jones and Cain Velasquez are not fit to carry the company on their shoulders judging by the buyrates on their recent PPVs. The UFC’s young, great ethnic hopes—Tiequan Zhang, Erik Perez, and Erick Silva—haven’t developed as planned. Most importantly, the strategy of grooming Rory MacDonald to be GSP’s replacement has failed (or has at least been delayed).

The UFC’s future is still on the backs of aging warhorses whose knees are beginning to buckle.

Yet there is still hope.

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BREAKING: Georges St-Pierre Vacates His UFC Title, Hendricks vs. Lawler Booked for Welterweight Title Fight at UFC 171


(“Physically I am 100%, but mentally I cannot go through another training camp right now, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to.” / Photo via Getty)

Georges St-Pierre‘s impromptu conference call turned out to be incredibly significant after all. The UFC welterweight champion announced today that he is taking an indefinite break from MMA competition, and has vacated his welterweight title. As he explained during his opening statement on the call:

“I’ve been fighting for a long time at a very high level. It’s a lot of pressure, a lot of criticism, and I decided to take time off. The UFC is a business, they can’t wait for my little self. I vacate my title for the respect of the other competitors, and one day when I feel like it, I might come back.

“It’s a lot of pressure. Every fight, I’m carrying weight on my shoulder, and every fight you add weight on your shoulder, you add weight, and add weight, and add weight — it becomes so heavy that I can’t carry it myself. Physically I am 100%, but mentally I cannot go through another training camp right now, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to.”

When Yahoo! reporter Kevin Iole asked St-Pierre if concern about physical damage or head trauma factored into his decision, GSP repeated that his decision had nothing to do with that. “I need to have a normal life for a bit, and that’s it.”

“I believe that one day I will come back,” St-Pierre said later, “but I don’t know [when].”

St-Pierre’s competitive future has been a question mark ever since his controversial UFC 167 victory over Johny Hendricks. Following the win, an emotionally distracted St-Pierre made a vague statement about needing to go away for a while — which drew the immediate wrath of Dana White in the post-fight press-conference. But now that St-Pierre has given more closure to the situation, White is completely supportive.

“This is fighting, and you have to be 100% mentally, physically, and emotionally,” the UFC president explained. “If you’re not, you should wait on the sidelines until you get your stuff cleared up…He was classy enough to say, ‘I’m not going to jam up the 170-pound division while I deal with these things.’ He’s going to deal with his stuff and come back…He’s the greatest welterweight of all time, and he’s the gold standard in everything…I think this is the right move for Georges St-Pierre.”

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So Maybe Georges St-Pierre Is Announcing Something Important Today [UPDATED]


(New theory: GSP will announce that he’s stepping away from MMA to take over the role of Sportacus on LazyTown. / Photo via MMAWeekly)

In case you forgot, today is the day that UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre will head to a mall in Quebec City and either announce his retirement from the sport or cut the ribbon on a Canadian Orange Julius. Though we were quick to speculate about the major news that could potentially result from this appearance, UFC president Dana White immediately doused the rumors, saying that St-Pierre’s “press conference” was nothing more than a promotional appearance at a mall.

White’s denial was based in solid, boring logic. It’s hard to imagine St-Pierre making a career-changing announcement without the UFC’s advance knowledge, and the champ could just be showing up to shake hands, kiss babies, and plug his new movie. But then, Dana actually spoke to GSP yesterday, and shit — as they say — got real. It was suddenly announced last night that the UFC would be holding a “special media conference call” with White and St-Pierre today, beginning at 2:20 p.m. ET. No other details were released, although White told Ariel Helwani that the call will be about “stuff that people want to hear.”

So that’s that, for now. Stay tuned to CagePotato this afternoon, and we’ll let you know what happens, as soon as it happens.

Update: “According to a report from the French-language arm of Canadian sports station TSN, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre will announce later today that he is taking an indefinite leave from MMA and will relinquish his title.” Holy crud.

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The Four Most Likely Scenarios to Emerge From Georges St. Pierre’s Upcoming Press Conference


(In a shocking turn of events, St. Pierre announces that he will be retiring from MMA to replace A.J. Pierzynski’s catcher’s mitt in the 2014 season. Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.)

As it has been ever since UFC 167, the MMA blogosphere is currently abuzz with speculation regarding the future of welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre. Amidst (hopefully) false rumors pertaining to his father’s illness, an unplanned pregnancy, and a multi-million dollar lawsuit with his former manager, St. Pierre announced his semi-retirement from the sport immediately following his controversial split decision win over Johny Hendricks, only to be buried by Dana White for having the gall to worry about his own health and personal life thereafter.

According to the Journal de Montreal, St. Pierre plans on holding a press conference this Friday to address his future in the UFC and clear the air regarding the multitude of rumors surrounding him. But being that sports journalism thrives on speculation, we’ve decided to go ahead and predict the four most likely reasons for GSP’s upcoming presser, as well as what the MMA world will be facing come Saturday morning.

Scenario #1:  Retirement

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With GSP’s Future in Question, Jon Jones Has Inherited the UFC Throne


(Highlights from Jon Jones’s Q&A at the Gentlemen’s Expo in Toronto. Subscribe to CagePotato’s YouTube channel right here.)

By Brian J. D’Souza

“Will he?” “Won’t he?” The talk since UFC 167 has been centered around the potential retirement of UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. GSP’s face showed superficial damage following his split-decision win against Johny Hendricks, but more seriously, he absorbed the kind of blows that rattle the brain around the skull with life-altering consequences.

Even if St-Pierre returns to the octagon, the twin realities of declining motivation and the onset of age could see his legacy tarnished the same way Roy Jones Jr. forever damaged his reputation by continuing to box after appearing diminished in beating Antonio Tarver by majority decision in 2003.

Major pay-per-view draws like GSP and Anderson Silva simply cannot fight forever. When they try to continue past their prime, as BJ Penn insists on doing, it can hurt their drawing power. The UFC relies on stars who can captivate audience interest and raise the stakes, and right now the safe money for a dominant champ to rejuvenate the UFC’s fortunes is on light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones.

Jones was recently in Toronto last weekend to speak at The Gentleman’s Expo, where he was interviewed by Sportsnet’s Joe Ferraro. Jones made headlines by continuing to insist he wanted to face UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, saying “I think that’s going to happen in the next two years, I’ll go up to heavyweight permanently…I’ve been really thinking about me and Cain Velasquez going at it, and I think it’d be huge for the sport.”

In terms of public relations, Jones has been walking a tightrope, dealing with hyper-critical fans and the venomous Zuffa brass over various incidents ranging from speaking gaffes to the cancellation of UFC 151 to incurring a DUI while wrapping his Bentley around a telephone pole. The bottom line for Zuffa is simple — Jones is an asset for consistently bringing in solid pay-per-view numbers, but he needs to play the game and allow Zuffa to dictate the strategy.

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Lorenzo Fertitta Walks Back Dana White’s Burial of Georges St-Pierre: “GSP Doesn’t Owe Us Anything”


(He’s smart, well-spoken, and he always wipes down his machines. What’s not to like about this guy?)

Watching Lorenzo Fertitta do interviews is like getting a glimpse into a utopian alternate-universe in which the president of the UFC wasn’t a petulant spaz whose first response to any criticism is to call you a pussy. Fertitta is an adult, and as such, he occasionally has to clean up the messes left behind by his minority partner. Here’s what the Zuffa Chairman/CEO had to say yesterday to Ariel Helwani, regarding Dana White’s now-infamous rant about what Georges St-Pierre “owes” the UFC following last weekend’s fight against Johny Hendricks:

I think Dana was misunderstood and hopefully he’s trying to clarify that. GSP doesn’t owe us anything. If he chooses to retire, then so be it, he’ll retire and become someone that people will always look up to as one of the great champions in the UFC. If he decides to fight again, then great. I think where the confusion was, Georges never communicated anything to us prior to the fight relative to that he may be making an announcement. In fact, I think Dana said that he had talked to him and he said ‘no no no, everything’s fine.’

And then after the fight, the announcement he made was very vague. And I think what Dana was trying to say was that either you’re retired or you’re not, right? We can’t just put the UFC belt on the shelf for an undefined period, basically put it in limbo forever, because that’s not fair to the contenders that have been working their whole lifetime to get the opportunity to get the belt. It’s not fair to the fans to have the title sit on the side for too long. And it’s not fair to us as a company because we wouldn’t be able to plan. I think that’s what the message was meant to be, but I think unfortunately the press took it in a different way.

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CagePotato PSA: Dear MMA Media, Stop Asking for Dana White’s Opinion on Every Last Goddamn Subject


(“You know what, I *would* like to address what @sk8rdood45 said about this matchup. You tell @sk8rdouche that he and his 22 followers can all go f*ck themselves! Good question, Ariel.” Photo via Getty.)

Do me a favor. Head over to any one of the “serious” or “unbiased” or “professional” MMA sites you visit IN ADDITION TO CagePotato on a regular basis and scan through the headlines. There are plenty of options to choose from.

Now count how many headlines you read that contained the phrase “Dana White on_____” or something of the like. Hell, count how many times you see a picture of his face. Then comb through the articles a second time and see how many *without* White’s name in the headline still relate back to:

1) His opinions on a TUF-related issue.

2) His opinions on a certain fighter’s performance/career/potential with the promotion (these can also be combined with a TUF-related issue for bonus points)

3) Someone else responding to something he said.

There were at least four, weren’t there? Lucky for you, we’re on the downslope of a week with no UFC event on the immediate horizon. Had you visited those websites a few days ago (or next weekend, for that matter), you would have been bombarded by more Dana White news than you could read in a month. You’d find no relief in the forums either, where the most popular thread by far would be the one where White personally called you a “dipshit” and a “pussy” for daring to question him from your grandmother’s basement.

Does anyone else see what is wrong with this picture?

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Quote of the Day: Georges St. Pierre Will Never Fight Again Unless Freddie Roach Is in His Corner


(Hey, it could be worse. / Photo via Sherdog)

We’re not sure if you’ve heard about this yet but UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre hung onto his belt this past Saturday at UFC 167 with a controversial split decision win over Johny Hendricks and then kinda, sorta announced a retirement, of sorts. The story hasn’t got much attention so first off, we wanted to make sure you knew about that.

In any case, UFC president Dana White is intent on bringing GSP back to fight Hendricks again and, according to a new report from Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, who is in Macau to cover the Manny Pacquiao/Brandon Rios boxing match this week, “Rush” told “PacMan” trainer Freddie Roach that he’ll never fight again if he doesn’t have him in his corner.

Roach said he has yet to speak to St-Pierre on the telephone, but said the champion texted him.

“He said, ‘I’m not going to fight again unless you are in my corner,’” Roach said. Asked to clarify if that meant on fight night, as well, Roach said, “Absolutely.” To this point, Roach has never been in a UFC fighter’s corner on the night of a fight.

Roach, always eager to promote himself, also said that he “pretty much came up with the game plan” for St. Pierre against Hendricks. So…good job?

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If MMA Is About Respect, Why Have We Turned Against Georges St. Pierre?


(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

By Seth Falvo

My first thought following the main event of UFC 167 was that Georges St. Pierre had a concussion. Granted, “hack journalist” is a far cry from doctor, but he was displaying symptoms that should make any sports fan concerned. He lost track of what round it was, he had trouble forming words, and the completely vacant look in his eyes was disturbing — even for a guy as stoic as GSP.

If this thought occurred to Dana White and the media members in attendance, they did a damn fine job of hiding it. You know what happened by now: White claimed St. Pierre “owed” everyone an immediate rematch, the media attempted to steer Georges St. Pierre away from talking about the signs of brain damage he has been experiencing — despite St. Pierre’s best attempts to do otherwise — and White eventually talked to the champ in private before downplaying everything that St. Pierre admitted to experiencing as much as possible.

As Stand and Bang accurately wrote, “White’s behavior [was] so transparently morally repugnant that there’s no reason to spend time pedantically analyzing it.” He wanted to pressure GSP back into the cage as quickly as possible, because the longer the champion has to reflect upon the damage that he’s done to himself, the less likely he is to return to the sport. Yet there are actually fans — and plenty of them — who managed to take the bait. There are fans who buy the ideas that St. Pierre somehow “owes” it to anyone to accept a rematch against Johny Hendricks, that he’s obligated to return to the cage immediately, that Dana White’s dangerously-capitalistic treatment of his most influential champion is completely acceptable.

And let’s not forget the most disgusting part about this: These fans are delusional enough to say with a straight face that MMA is about “respect.”

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Georges St. Pierre Denies Rumors of Father’s Illness/Unplanned Pregnancy While Dana White Continues to Force a Hendricks Rematch


(Does this look like the face of a man with an illegitimate batchild? Via GSP’s Twitter.) 

It’s safe to say that Georges St. Pierre’s post-fight interview/semi-retirement raised a lot of questions in regards to not only his mental well-being, but the litany of personal issues he claimed were forcing him to step away from the sport. Although Dana White was quick to tell reporters that GSP’s problems “aren’t as bad as he thinks they are,” Dana White is neither a recognized psychologist nor a Scanner to our knowledge, so his opinions mean fuck all.

Being the bottom-feeders that they truly are, TMZ in turn used St. Pierre’s ambiguous post-fight speech as a platform to let the unsubstantiated rumors fly  – specifically, that his father was dying and that he had knocked up a woman who was keeping the baby against his wishes.

In any case, White spoke to St. Pierre yesterday and has since refuted both rumors via The LA Times. While he neglected to discuss the specifics of GSP’s “personal issues,” St. Pierre’s former manager, Stephane Patry, attempted to shed some light on the issue during a segment on Quebec’s 98.5 FM Sports. His statements are after the jump:

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