- Former UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre caused quite a stir when he mysteriously vacated his title late last year. With GSP declining to give a reason for his indefinite vacation from the sport, speculation ran rampant over why he left. That speculation can now end, as the 32-year-old recently spoke with Canadian media (quotes via MMAFighting) and revealed that one of the main reasons he gave up his title and semi-retired is the UFC's weak stance on drug testing in general - and their lack of support for his pre-fight drug testing campaign ahead of UFC 167.
"It bothered me enormously," St-Pierre said. "That's one of the reasons why I stopped fighting. Not really to teach them a lesson, because that would also punish me. I wanted to do something for the sport. I love the sport. I see the direction it's going, and I don't think it makes any sense. This is stupid."
Ahead of his title fight with Johny Hendricks, St-Pierre proposed that both fighters submit to random testing for performance enhancing drugs. When the two fighters couldn't agree on exactly how to go about that testing, UFC president Dana White said that they both looked "stupid" and expressed his desire that they simply drop the issue and leave the drug testing to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. With the promotion taking such a watery stance on what is clearly a serious issue within the sport, St-Pierre's ethics were challenged.
"I tried to do something to change the sport," he said. "Unfortunately, there were other people, for different reasons, maybe for money, in fear of losing money, because if you canceled the fight because someone tested positive there are millions of dollars [lost]. Also, the sport's image ... If you start testing everyone, how many will get caught? I don't want to say in public because I don't want to accuse anyone, but the sport's image will be hurt. Don't forget, I have internal information. I'm an athlete. I know what goes on, so that disappointed me greatly."
St-Pierre went on to express his disappointment that fighters have to watch their tongues about such a sensitive issue, since the UFC essentially has a stranglehold on the entire sport of MMA - leaving those with dissenting opinions few lucrative options outside of the promotion. The fighter opined that the UFC didn't like the idea of increasing drug testing because it might've prompted other fighters to push for more testing, thus inconveniencing the promotion.
At this point, it would appear that St-Pierre is using his massive star power within the sport as leverage to raise awareness about the problem of PEDs in the sport. The legendary fighter even went so far as to issue a potential ultimatum related to his un-retirement.
"No wants to talk about [drugs in MMA], but I think we need to talk about it. It's a problem," said St-Pierre. "I wanted to remain diplomatic, but unfortunately there were people who weren't ready to change things. I'm certain it's a question of time. And maybe if things change one day, I'll return."
- All fighters competing on tonight's fight card made weight for their respective bouts yesterday; you can check out the Ultimate Fight Night 35 weigh-in results below.
Luke Rockhold (185) vs. Constantinos Philippou (185)
Lorenz Larkin (185) vs. Brad Tavares (185)
T.J. Dillashaw (135) vs. Mike Easton (135)
Derek Brunson (185) vs. Yoel Romero (185)
John Moraga (126) vs. Dustin Ortiz (124)
Cole Miller (145) vs. Sam Sicilia (145)
Justin Edwards (155) vs. Ramsey Nijem (155)
Elias Silverio (155) vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (155)
Brian Houston (185) vs. Trevor Smith (186)
Alptekin Ozkilic (125) vs. Louis Smolka (125)
Vinc Pichel (155) vs. Garett Whiteley (156)
Charlie Brenneman (155) vs. Beneil Dariush (156)
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