UFC President Dana White thinks his criticisms of Georges St-Pierre’s performance at UFC 167 sparked the former champ’s recent comments about the UFC’s stance on drug testing.
St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) made headlines this week when he opened up to French-Canadian news outlet RDS about some of the reasons behind his decision to vacate his title to take a hiatus from the sport.
“Rush” spoke at length about his efforts to clean up performance-enhancing drugs in the sport, listing his disappointment with the UFC’s lack of support on the topic as a primary motivation for his departure from the world’s premier MMA organization.
“It’s one of the reasons why I stopped,” St-Pierre told RDS.ca. “Not really to [teach] them a lesson, because it penalizes me, too. But I wanted to do something for the sport that I love. I see the direction in which it goes, and I think it makes no sense. This is stupid.”
Following Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 35 event, White fielded questions from the media about the situation. He said he hadn’t spoken to St-Pierre personally but had heard the controversial comments were motivated by something entirely different than the UFC’s drug testing policy.
“What I heard is Georges St-Pierre is upset with some of the things I said at the (UFC 167) press conference,” White said. “He’s upset that I said that he didn’t won the fight, that I thought Johny Hendricks won the fight. But if that’s the case, call me man-to-man, let’s talk on the phone. Let’s sit down face to face.
“I talked to him after the fight face to face. He didn’t say any of that to me. So the whole thing is a little weird.”’
As far as St-Pierre’s actual comments, White was visibly disgruntled with what one of the sport’s most popular figures said, and he was quick to cite reasons why St-Pierre’s claims are unfounded.
“When we go out of the country and we regulate ourselves, we test everybody on the card,” White said. “You want to talk about being lenient? The fight that I was screaming about, yelling about as the greatest fight I’ve ever seen – Mark Hunt and ‘Bigfoot’ Silva. We tested the guys for that fight, we caught ‘Bigfoot’ Silva and he got destroyed.
“[Silva] lost the win money that we gave him, lost the bonus money that we game him, and obviously he’s not getting an extra bonus. He’s suspended for a year. So if that’s lenient on drugs, then I guess we’re lenient.”
White continued to explain the organization’s policy on drug testing, saying the UFC goes a level beyond certain state athletic commissions to ensure no one is cheating.
“If you are using performance-enhancing drugs in the UFC, these guys get caught,” White said. “Maybe you fought for one of these athletic commissions where they’ll only test the main event, or they’ll only test the co-main and main event. But then you show up at these international shows and people don’t realize we test the entire card, from the first prelim to the main event.
“Everybody’s getting tested. You’re going to get caught if you’re using it.”
St-Pierre has been accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs in the past, but the 32-year-old has never tested positive for anything throughout his entire MMA career.
Considering St-Pierre has been the brunt of criticism for several years, White was shocked to find out he turned around and pointed the finger at others for the very same reasons.
“The thing that’s bothered him his entire career, he just threw it back on all the other guys that are fighting,” White said. “Which is unfair to the guys that aren’t using anything.”
St-Pierre also made waves when he stated the UFC holds a monopoly over the MMA landscape. It was another accusation White adamantly insisted is untrue, stating -fairly or unfairly- that the Viacom-owned Bellator MMA organization is a current competitor.
“As far as the other thing that he said that we’re a monopoly, Viacom is our competitor,” White said. “They have a $40 billion dollar market cap – $40 billion dollars. I’m never going to see $40 billion as long as I live, neither will the UFC. So we’re not a monopoly either. Everything that Georges St-Pierre said is a little kooky.”
With White having a response to every point St-Pierre brought to the forefront, he is simply left wondering why one of the UFC’s most successful fighters would make such controversial statements when his main reasons for leaving the UFC was to get away from the pressure of being in the spotlight.
“He said he needed some time off because he had all these personal issues going on in his life,” White said. “We said do your thing, he vacates the title, we’re having a title fight in Dallas now, and we’ve left the guy alone. We’re not asking him to do anything.
“Guy’s out doing more interviews now than he did when he was fighting. Said he wanted to disappear for a while and go away. But here we are, talking about Georges St-Pierre, we’re trying to get him on the phone. It’s so weird.”
For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 35, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.
(Pictured: Georges St-Pierre)