GSP: I’m Stepping Out But I’ll Still Be Training

UFC Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre just can’t seem to shake the backlash of his ultra-controversial split decision win over Johny Hendricks at last Saturday’s UFC 167.

Truth be told, he may have added fuel to the fire when he said he was “stepping away” from mixed martial arts for awhile, giving no set return date or a concrete reason for his absence.

The announcement of course prompted rampant media speculation from a whole host of outlets. GSP was rumored to have a baby on the way, his father was reportedly dying, and St. Pierre was even rumored to be battling substance abuse. But gossip site TMZ, who originally reported many of the rumors GSP has shot down, recently caught up with St. Pierre to get his current take on all the media buzz:

“Oh yeah, the rumors. No, I’m by myself, alone, having a good life. I’m not a dad, I’m not in rehab, and my father is not dying. Everybody is happy. I’m fine. I’m tip-top shape, just I bruise easy. I’ll be training when I go back to Montreal on Monday.” - transcribed by MMA Weekly

So if GSP is indeed in top shape, is he still stepping away from MMA for the time being? His answer:

“Yeah, I’m stepping out, but I’ll be training for myself.”

Apparently he’s still taking a step back from the sport he loves but he’ll be training on his own. Strange, especially since he refutes each and every rumor that has surfaced about him. He also admitted to bruising easily, saying that he is fine.

If that is the case, why not clear up the situation?

Maybe because St. Pierre himself doesn’t know what his next move will be. Regardless, the speculation has reached a fever pitch with Hendricks and Dana White breathing down the champ’s back.

Perhaps they should give him a break. Perhaps he should clarify his intentions.

Either way, as a UFC record holder who makes a strong case for being the best fighter to ever step into the Octagon, does GSP deserve some space to contemplate his next move after the toughest fight of his career? Or does he owe it to the fans, the UFC, and Hendricks to state his intentions right now?

Outer Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie for USA TODAY Sports


29 Comments

  1. Profile photo of MagicMMA

    MagicMMA

    November 23, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I've said it before, leave the guy alone, it's too soon to judge his motives. I do think however, that he should clarify exactly what 'stepping out' means

  2. Profile photo of Bruce Lee

    Bruce Lee

    November 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    This is the best thing for everybody.

    GSP takes a break.

    Johny Hendricks fights Carlos Condit or Robby Lawler for the vacated belt.

    If / when GSP comes back he can challenge for the title.

    Who is unhappy in that scenario?

  3. Profile photo of Brian Cox

    Brian Cox

    November 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Somebody should do one of those rant videos, like that nutcase did for Britney Spears, when she shaved her head….Leave GSP Alone!!!

    First, I don't think he can tell you what he's thinking, until he's been given a chance to think it. Give the guy three months to chill, man.

    Second, Dana as the promoter needs to step back and give his cash cow some breathing space, for a bit. Let's be fair, the guy came back off of a year plus of rehab to take on Condit, Diaz and Hendricks. He's had three fights in "exactly" one year; November 17th 2012 – November 16th, 2013. What more can we ask from him?

    Freak man, how much time has the mighty Anderson Silva taken off and without the injuries or ever taking damage? If Rush wanted to take a year off, then "F" it, he should be allowed.

    And if Hendricks thinks he's the uncrowned champ, then let GSP take a year off, go and fight whoever and beat them all, Bigg Rigg. Prove that you're all that and more. Because as far as I can see, he's not. He didn't finish or KO GSP, wobbled him, did some damage, but he never had him in any serious way, during the fight. And he didn't finish or KO Condit.

    As a matter of fact, if were going to piss and moan about decisions, then lets do it over Condit / Hendricks, because the moment he knew he could KO TNBK, he took him down and laid on him. Once there, he did nothing and I think Condit won the fight. He sure as heck would have beaten Bigg Rigg in a five rounder.

    If Rush want a year off, let'em. I'd hate to think of the cash that he's pumped into that company over the last 12 months, give the guy a break.

    • Profile photo of johndo11

      johndo11

      November 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      Got no problem with GSP taking time off but he has to vacate the belt. MMA careers are small windows of opportunity. You can't just hog the belt and the fame and millions that go with it if you have no intention of fighting.

      Take time of GSP but vacate the belt then come back and challenge. Be fair to everyone else.

      • Profile photo of Brian Cox

        Brian Cox

        November 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm

        John, why would Rush have to vacate the belt?

        Anderson Silva didn't and he took exactly a year off between 2012 & 2013., The only exception was the Bonnar fight at 205 and that was a joke in my opinion.

        Dominick Cruz has gone two years, without defending his belt, and they've only just started talking about stripping him if he doesn't make it back in short order.

        To be honest, GSP doesn't even have to ask. All he has to do is tell Dana some BS story and drag it out for 12 months. No one can accuse the guy of not carrying his fair share of the load for the UFC and no one can say he's ducked a fight or a fighter. If he's a little burnt out, it's understandable and as champ, he should be cut some slack. There's more than enough to settle in the division, while he's gone.

        And to be honest, I don't know why either Lawler or the winner of Condit / Brown should be required to take a backseat to Hendricks. He lost the fight; period. He had his chance and he blew it. There are at least two more fighters that will have an equal claim to Rush, IMO.

        The champ should be able to take at least six or seven months without anyone sweating it and if he wants a year, give it to him. Again, I think he's earned it. And if the choice is either that or have him retire, I'd rather give him the year off. It would also be the smart business decision for the promotion; better to let him go for a year, than forever.

        • Profile photo of johndo11

          johndo11

          November 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm

          He has to vacate because he shouldn't be allowed to dictate who fights for the belt and when.

          Cruz is out because of a legitimate injury, not because he just decided to.

          Anderson fought Bonnar which means he did fight within a year. Farce or not, Joe Silva made the match, not Anderson. What gives GSP the right to put a division on hold just because he got a beating?!?

          He's not hurt! Lets give someone a shot who won't decision there last 7 fights.

          • Profile photo of Zip

            Zip

            November 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm

            'Shouldn't be allowed to dictate who fights for the belt and when'

            Chicken bones does…

          • Profile photo of Brian Cox

            Brian Cox

            November 23, 2013 at 7:59 pm

            But John, it's not really a question of being hurt, but maybe being burnt out. Again, that mans' fought three times this year.

            I could see your point if this was any other champion, but when you've held the belt as long as Rush has, made the money that he has for the promotion, I think they can cut him some slack.

            I just think him vacating the belt or it being stripped from him is too radical. A chunk of time, a year or less off, shouldn't be (IMO) a big deal. Not for a champ like Rush.

            And he's never dictated a fight or a fighter, he's always taken what they've put in front of him, with the possible exception of the Diaz fight, if people want to nit pick, and everyone but Hendricks was fine with that fight. So, the only thing we are talking about, in this one and first instance, is some time off.

            I think he's earned it and again, if it's that or retirement, I'll take the year off. Sorry man, but I love Rush. I'd give him the year.

        • Profile photo of falcon4917

          falcon4917

          November 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm

          I think that if we don't pick a time where the belts have an expiry date soon we will continue to have the problems we are facing if GSP wants a year. Silva did not defend his belt for a year but he did fight and saved a card. If GSP went up a division and saved a card nobody would be complaining. Bonnar was no joke, and was the only guy before Gus to take it to Jones and if it were 5 rounds was well on his ay to beating bones too. Just because Silva did to Bonnar what nobody else could do does not make it a joke. A Joke was that GSP had his title challenged by Dan Hardy. The rest of the joke was that GSP couldn't finish him and then Lytle had to show him how it's done. GSP nearly took a year off for TUF as well. I agree GSP can do what he wants but I also think we need to stop the Dominick Cruz nonsense.

    • Profile photo of watermelon fresh

      watermelon fresh

      November 23, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      Dude you think Dana cares about anyone but himself or ufc? He doesn't,!!!

    • Profile photo of TheXperience

      TheXperience

      November 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      I'm sorry Brian, but that's ridiculous. If GSP needs a year off, he has to vacate the belt.. period! He went away 1,5 year with an injury keeping the belt hostage already. If there's nothing physically wrong with him, he needs to defend the belt. If he chooses not to, that's his right but he'll have to surrender the belt to the competition. A year might not seem like a long time for a lot of people, but for a fighter a year is a LONG time! Most fighters only fight 3x a year, which only gives them very few chances to ever fight for the belt if any. So robbing them of an entire year to challenge for the belt is absolute nonsense! Not to mention GSP shouldn't be holding that belt right now in the first place!

      I too agree that Condit won, the fight with Hendricks. However, the outcome is not gonna change as with GSP holding the belt right now so taking that in consideration is reaching at best and this was a title fight of all things. That holds a little more weight. This rematch needs to happen and it needs to happen soon, to settle the score once and for all!

      • Profile photo of Brian Cox

        Brian Cox

        November 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm

        TE, come on brother, he didn't keep the belt hostage for a year.

        He went into his fight with Condit, as against an interim champ and not considering himself the champion, anymore and we certainly can't blame him for having missed a year-and-a-half due to his knee injuries.

        As to Rush losing, TE I have to disagree. I'm sorry, I know he looked ugly, but he won three of two, and that's my view of it. I certainly know that Hendricks was lucky that it wasn't a seven round fight, because he was toast at the end of the fight; he had nothing on his punches.

        He was given his chance and he blew it. It's that simple and if I was Robbie Lawler or Condit / Brown, that's exactly what I'd be saying.

        To turn the argument around, why should any of those fighters have to wait for Johny to get a second kick at the can, and all because the first kick failed.

        The way I see this is he lost and now it's lets give him another shot or more shots, until he finally gets it right. Sorry TE, the verdict is the verdict and it's why I didn't complain about Bigg Rigg's win over Condit. It is what it is, the judges saw it as they did and the fight is in the books.

        Maybe the real solution is to give Carlos another shot at Hendricks.

        At the end of the day we have to live with the verdicts rendered, otherwise it becomes the UFR (ultimate fighting rematch) every time we're not happy with the outcomes; just keep throwing them in there until we get the result we want.

        As rare as it is that I disagree with you opinion TE, I must do so, here. GSP is champ, he won the fight, I'd give him the time off and where I'll take the rematch with Hendricks, I could also care less if it happened and would be just as happy to see rush take on Lawler or the winner of Condit / Brown next.

        I'm fine with it all and I know this, Rush is a whole lot tougher and has a way better chin, than anyone ever thought.

        And I'll close with this TE, rematch them; great. Hendricks will lose again. :-)

  4. Profile photo of dropkickmurphy

    dropkickmurphy

    November 23, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    He has been a great champion and one of the classiest and most humble athletes to ever compete in any sport. If he steps down he owes nothing to anyone.

    • Profile photo of TheXperience

      TheXperience

      November 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      No he sure doesn't… as long as he vacates the belt! Right now he's being vague and leaving the WW division in Limbo and that's unacceptable, no matter how humble and classy he is, that has nothing to do with it. At the end of the day it's a business and peoples livelihood you're messing with, the fighters in particular. So as long as he holds that belt he DOES owe the next in line a title shot… and the next in line is STILL Hendricks!

  5. Profile photo of dropkickmurphy

    dropkickmurphy

    November 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    GSP vacates title. Condit and Hendricks fight for the strap.

  6. Profile photo of lowstyle

    lowstyle

    November 23, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I thought that GSP didn't look as sharp as he has in the past. Physically he didn't look as good, and the double-leg wasn't as effective against Hendricks.. The wear and tear of 5rd title fights and his training regime probably has him drained. If he still wants to make money without taking damage from a condit/hendricks, vacate the belt, do a 1 fight deal with WSOF against Askren.

  7. Profile photo of Garson

    Garson

    November 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    I have nothing but respect for GSP and what he has done for the sport of MMA but the truth is that he needs to be more clear with what he wants to do. If he has personal problems, yes he should handle them so it does not get bigger problems later on. But at the same time after a fight like that Hendricks deserves a rematch. A champion needs to defend his title.

    I thought Hendricks won so if GSP does not return for a longer while either Hendricks should get the belt or we should see Hendricks vs Condit 2 in the near future.

    Just my thoughts.

  8. Profile photo of UnderdogGreatness

    UnderdogGreatness

    November 23, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    I have no problem with Georges St-Thief taking a year off, however he needs to vacate Johny's UFC WW belt before he does so.

  9. Profile photo of Entity

    Entity

    November 23, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Is it just me, but does GSP's footwork look kinda twinkletoes? Ballerina esque…

  10. Profile photo of Michael Ruatfela

    Michael Ruatfela

    November 23, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Lol GSP just faught a great fight but just because you think Hendricks win doesnt mean the champ should fight him next month, you all talk crap like he needs to fight next month. Also remember GSP is a French Canadian and he might not express ed himself the correct way, since english is not his 1st langauage like me, Strip off his title if he choose not to defend it in the next 5 to 6 months.Untill then Dana,Hendricks and GSP haters are just creating un-necessary problem and arguments..i was a Hendricks fan till yeasterday..i am annoyed by "you know what i mean" and "i dont care, who cares"..he is even less articulate then GSP..

  11. Profile photo of Michael Ruatfela

    Michael Ruatfela

    November 23, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    damn typo but what ever i still make better sense than Hendricks :-D

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