St-Pierre vs. Hendricks: What Did GSP's Post-Fight Comments Mean?

Matthew RyderFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2013

Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre is interviewed by Joe Rogan after his welterweight championship bout against Johny Hendricks during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

Well, that was eventful.

First, a one-sided beating laid by Johny Hendricks on Georges St-Pierre at UFC 167.

Then, the judges who were apparently watching a different fight and gave the win to GSP anyway.

Then a bizarre post-fight interview that was initially drowned out by boos and seemed over. A few words from Joe Rogan and, before you know it, the interview is back on and the greatest man to ever compete at 170 pounds is retiring.

Kind of.

St-Pierre told Rogan in a roundabout way that he was hanging up his gloves.

For a while.

Pushed a little further, it became no clearer what the champion was planningonly that he needed to be away from MMA and that it appeared to be effective immediately.

The post-fight press conference did nothing to clarify the situation, as St-Pierre added little to his comments in the cage and was eventually hushed by Dana White from answering anything else.

A strange turn of events.

On the night when the UFC celebrated its 20th year in existence, it should also have celebrated a new champion and the possibilities that would bring. Instead, all the talk is of how Hendricks got hosed and the sport's biggest draw might have retired.

But what did St-Pierre's comments mean?

Is he really retiring for good? Is it temporary, a rest period from the mental drain of the fight game? Are there personal issues at play here, perhaps something medical or family-related?

Given the tenor of the champion's announcement, everything one could ponder is absolutely speculative, but nothing is off the table. There has never been a moment so bizarre in the history of the sport, where a storied champion eked out a win and then quasi-retired to the bewilderment of those looking on.

Without needlessly fuelling rumors, it's probably reasonable to assume that these comments are meant to indicate a hiatus instead of a retirement.

It's plausible that there are some ongoing concerns in St-Pierre's life that need his undivided attention and this is his way of saying that he needs to steer clear of MMA for as long as he needs to tend to them.

Also, never underestimate the second-language aspect of things. What Anglophones hear as retirement may be a convoluted translation of something completely different coming from the mouth of a Francophone conveying his thoughts in English after eating punches for 25 minutes.

St-Pierre's English is excellent, but he does struggle from time to time and it's possible this whole thing is just a misunderstanding.

Regardless, the whole scene was fascinating and what now lays in its wake is even more so.

The 170-pound division is without a champion. Only not really, because he didn't technically retire. Oh, and most people think the guy he fought beat him easily and is something of an uncrowned champion.

There's no way to know what GSP meant for sure on Saturday night. No one outside of the champion and perhaps his inner circle can understand what those post-fight comments meant.

Until there's clarification, however, few people in the MMA community will be thinking about anything else.