(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
Easily the biggest reason fans (and Dana White) turned against St. Pierre following UFC 167 was not due to the belief that he was ducking a Hendricks rematch, but rather that the champ was so ambiguous about the terms of his retirement. “I need to hang up my gloves for a little bit,” said St. Pierre during his post-fight interview, leading many of us to question just how long he planned on stepping away, and whether or not he planned on relinquishing his title in order to do so.
If St. Pierre simply needs a few months away from the public eye to remedy some personal issues, it would be hard to find anyone who would truly take him to task for his decision. But if St. Pierre needs a Dominick Cruz-length break from the sport without truly retiring, he would essentially be holding the welterweight division hostage until his return, a grim scenario especially in light of how controversial his final fight was.
Unfortunately for those of us expecting a rematch, the fact that St. Pierre is holding a non-UFC organized press conference in his native Canada seems to indicate that he has made up his mind regarding the length of his retirement: FOR-EV-ER.
Semi-related prediction: Following St. Pierre’s retirement, White will hold a press conference of his own in which he declares that St. Pierre was “always overrated” and “a cowardly champion” who “turned his back on the sport and its fans.” The camera will then pan 180 degrees, revealing that White is actually standing alone in his living room and shouting a GSP Fathead.
Scenario #2: A Hendricks Rematch
When speaking/spewing flames at the UFC 167 post-fight press conference, White stated the following about the likelihood of Hendricks receiving his much-deserved rematch:
As far as a rematch, we’re on schedule and I’ll have a date within a couple weeks. I feel confident that Georges is fine with that and all is on track.
To state the obvious, it has been nearly a month since this claim was made and we have yet to hear a word from Dana White or anyone in the UFC regarding said rematch. That Lorenzo Ferttita has publicly walked back White’s criticism of GSP further indicates the possibility of the champ retiring over accepting a Hendricks rematch.
But then again, the UFC is nothing if not a
shady crafty organization. Perhaps by getting St. Pierre to personally announce his interest in a rematch, the UFC is hoping to shed the idea that it is somehow forcing his hand in the matter. If that turns out to be the case, look for St. Pierre to half-heartedly remind us of how “dark” he is and how he will use his recent personal troubles as motivation to finish Hendricks in the rematch. Neither will ever come to fruition.
Scenario #3: A Nick Diaz Rematch (!!)
Speaking of dark places, there isn’t a fighter out there who managed to bring out the dark side of GSP more than Nick Diaz. Or so we were told.
Georges St. Pierre is loved by fans far and wide for his humility, class, and poise both inside and outside of the octagon. Nick Diaz is loved by fans for being the anti-bullshit superhero and not knowing what three of the four qualities I just listed even mean. St. Pierre vs. Diaz is the kind of good vs. evil matchup that fans of the sport simply cannot turn away from, no matter how contrived or unnecessary it may be. While being the corn-husking, dip-spitting American answer to GSP’s fine wine-sipping, poutine-eating Canadian self, Johny Hendricks simply does not hold up to the evil archetype created by Diaz. And by that, I mean he has never chased St. Pierre around a hotel looking for a fight.
Some of you might counter, “But St. Pierre totally dominated Diaz, so why would we be interested in a rematch?” Well, did you honestly expect Diaz to go in and dominate GSP before? And have his chances of KOing St. Pierre with a miracle shot decreased since then? Diaz had no business being in the octagon with St. Pierre in the first place, but over a million of us purchased those wolf tickets. Fans will come in droves for the chance to see Diaz give St. Pierre another Stockton Heybuddy; it’s as simple as that. St. Pierre knows this, and is looking for one last big paycheck (and a winnable fight) before he truly retires.
Scenario #4: St. Pierre Joins Season 18 of Dancing With the Stars
We all know that Dancing With the Stars has become a haven for post-prime athletes in any sport, but none have failed more spectacularly on the reality competition show than Chuck Liddell and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Angered by the stereotype that all fighters are bad dancers, St. Pierre will announce that he is joining season 18 of DWtS to put an end to these hurtful beliefs once and for all. He will be joined by: Scott Bakula, Paula Deen, Chelsea Handler, Wesley Warren Jr. (a.k.a the guy with 140-pound testicles), Dan Marino, and Bobby Kimball of Toto among others. Upon winning the Mirror Ball trophy, St. Pierre will return to the UFC and defeat interim champ Johny Hendricks via Paso-Doble-Foxtrot-Whiskey-Sour KO.
Come to think of it, this scenario is far more likely to happen than a GSP-Hendricks rematch. Start setting your DVRs, Nation.