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Tag: Johny Hendricks

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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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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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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St-Pierre vs. Hendricks: The Most Important Bad Decision In UFC History


(Ladies and gentlemen, your “winner.” / Photo via Esther Lin, MMAFighting)

By Adam Martin

There have been many terrible decisions handed out by MMA judges over the years, but none of them had the same consequences as the decision read by UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer following the main event of UFC 167 this past weekend.

After five rounds of back-and-forth action, Johny Hendricks and Georges St-Pierre headed to the scorecards to hear the official outcome of their fight, which should have been in the bag for the challenger. Watching the fight live, I scored it 48-47 for Hendricks, giving him rounds one, two and four, and St-Pierre rounds three and five, all rounds scored 10-9. My friend and fellow journalist James Lynch, whose judgment I trust and who I watched the event with, tallied the same score on his card. So did all 15 media members who had their scores counted by the great database MMADecisions.com. So did most fans and observers of the sport on Twitter and in the arena. So did UFC color commentator Joe Rogan. And so did UFC president Dana White.

Despite this, two Nevada State Athletic Commission judges inexplicitly scored the fight for St-Pierre by scores of 48-47, and the champion got to keep his belt. He then announced to the audience at MGM Grand Garden Arena that he wanted to take some time off after defending his belt for the third time in the past 12 months.

Hendricks, on the other hand, got screwed.

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UFC 167 Salaries: St-Pierre, Evans, Lawler Take Biggest Shares of $1,841,000 Disclosed Payroll


(Rashad Evans made a quarter-million dollars for doing something most Brazilians would do for free. / Photo via Esther Lin, MMAFighting)

The 24 fighters who competed at Saturday’s UFC 167 event in Las Vegas split $1,841,000 in disclosed salaries and performance bonuses, according to figures released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, with Georges St-Pierre, Rashad Evans, and Robbie Lawler earning the biggest checks. Of course, the $450,000 total for GSP doesn’t include his cut of the event’s pay-per-view revenue — an incentive granted to the UFC’s top stars which has helped give the welterweight champ an estimated annual income of $12 million.

Check out the numbers below, and keep in mind that they don’t include additional revenue from sponsorships or undisclosed “locker room bonuses,” or deductions for taxes, insurance, and license fees.

Georges St-Pierre: $450,000 (no win bonus, includes $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
def. Johny Hendricks: $100,000 (includes $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus)

Rashad Evans: $250,000 (includes $125,000 win bonus)
def. Chael Sonnen: $100,000

Robbie Lawler: $166,000 (includes $83,000 win bonus)
def. Rory MacDonald: $50,000

Tyron Woodley: $154,000 (includes $52,000 win bonus, $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
def. Josh Koscheck: $78,000

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Vine of the Day: Stephan Bonnar Is Not Too Pleased About the GSP/Hendricks Decision


(Props: UFC on Vine)

Just to recap, virtually every professional fighter on twitter felt that Johny Hendricks got robbed against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 167, as well as the guy who reffed the fight and the president of the promotion. One of the notables in attendance on Saturday was retired light-heavyweight veteran Stephan Bonnar, who watched the action cageside next to his longtime comedy partner Forrest Griffin, and gave us this classic bit of footage during the official decision. As Bonnar howls “newwwww,” anticipating a win for the challenger, Bruce Buffer blows everybody’s minds by announcing that, nope, GSP’s still got that belt. Bonnar collapses into a heap of despair. I did the same thing, pretty much.

Other reactions featured in this clip: Conor McGregor (exuberant, possibly because he had a stack of cash riding on the outcome), Cub Swanson (amused disbelief), Anthony Pettis (respectful applause), and Kenda Perez (just standing there).

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Post-UFC 167 News Roundup: Hendricks-GSP II, Koscheck’s Future, And More


(The pre-fight UFC 167 press conference. The belt didn’t change places. / Photo via Getty)

UFC 167 left a terrible taste in our mouths.

The card was exciting, and the main event, after the last round but before the decision was announced, seemed like it was going to be a passing of the torch. Instead, we got a terrible decision that overshadowed the celebratory atmosphere around the UFC’s 20th anniversary show.

Now, we’re left with more questions than answers. Here’s what we know so far:

Josh Koscheck suffered a brutal KO loss to Tyron Woodley. One might think that the UFC would let Koscheck go since he’s a 35-year-old on a three-fight losing streak and they’ve cut other fighters for less. Yet Koscheck is going to stay in the UFC, at least if he doesn’t retire.

Dana White said that Koscheck will not be cut, and also stated that he had a soft spot for TUF season 1 veterans (aww). However, White also mentioned that he received a text message from Koscheck which “sounded like retirement” but that sometimes fighters say things after fights, presumably things they don’t mean.

White, unhappy (an understatement) about the decision in the main event, also ranted about the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

“It used to be the best commission in the world…I’m fucking scared to come back here and do fights,” Yet, when pressed for specifics about how the UFC would proceed, White was mum. “What more can I do?” he said. “I just don’t know what else needs to be done. It’s unfortunate.”

Of course, the biggest issue we’re all waiting on is a rematch between Georges St.Pierre and Johny Hendricks. Will it happen?

Maybe.

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