Dana White: “GSP Has to Defend the Belt or Retire”

Jordy McElroyCorrespondent INovember 19, 2013

Dana White
Dana WhiteEsther Lin/MMAFighting

As far as Dana White is concerned, Georges St-Pierre only has two options right now: defend the UFC title or retire from MMA.

The UFC President hasn't held back from publicly criticizing the welterweight champ for his bizarre post-fight comments after winning a controversial split decision over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 on Saturday night.

St-Pierre, who earned his ninth consecutive title defense, announced that he needed to take an extended leave away from fighting to take care of personal problems in his life.

The announcement resonated in the MMA community as little more than a baffling, impromptu speech possibly hinting at St-Pierre’s retirement.

At the post-fight press conference, White went on a long tirade, claiming St-Pierre owed it to the fans, the UFC and Hendricks to compete in an immediate rematch:

You owe it to the fans, you owe it to that belt, you owe to this company and you owe it to Johny Hendricks to give him that opportunity to fight again, unless you’re going to retire. There’s no I’m going to go on a cruise, and I’m going to be gone for two years, and I’m going to take a hiatus. …That’s not how it works.

White is convinced Hendricks won the fight, and as he told reporters at the post-fight presser, he only “wants what’s fair.”

Still, many people were upset by White’s handling of the situation. St-Pierre has won more fights in the UFC than any other fighter in MMA history. He has spent more time in the Octagon than any other fighter in MMA history, and he has made the UFC more money than any other fighter in MMA history.

How could he possibly owe anyone anything?

On Monday, White was a guest on The Dan Le Batard Show, where he talked about the fallout from UFC 167. When challenged about his comments, White seemed to back off the statement about St-Pierre owing anything.

The welterweight star is the biggest pay-per-view draw in the UFC, which White has acknowledged time and time again. With that said, White still remains firm on his stance regarding the UFC title. St-Pierre has to either defend his throne or step down:

He doesn't owe anything. If he wants to retire, he can retire, said White. But if you don’t think that while he holds the belt and he still wants to stay in the sport that he has to step up and defend the title, you’re crazy. He can retire and give up the belt.

White remains confident that St-Pierre will return after taking a brief vacation, and talks will resume about a possible rematch with Hendricks.

He recently told the LA Times that he expects to nail a date in a couple of weeks.