GSP and Dana White
The UFC President has taken a lot of heat over the last couple of weeks after his blowup following St-Pierre’s controversial split decision win over Johny Hendricks. St-Pierre, who is the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view-draw, owns UFC records for most wins and time spent in the Octagon.
Bruised and battered from his bout with Hendricks, St-Pierre told UFC commentator Joe Rogan that he was going on an indefinite hiatus to clear his head and patch up some personal problems in his life.
At the press conference, White explained that St-Pierre owed it to the UFC, fans and Hendricks to step up and offer an immediate rematch. According to White, St-Pierre lost the fight, and his entire team knew it.
It was an uncomfortable situation that shined a negative light on one of MMA’s most beloved stars. Many felt White’s decision to go on a public tirade was unfair to St-Pierre, who had dedicated years of his life as a company man and breadwinner for the UFC.
Why not check to see how your fighter is doing? Why not go backstage to get a better feel of the situation before exploding in front of the media?
These were some of the questions from media and fans.
A day after the fallout from the press conference, Midoux, St-Pierre’s mentor and corner man, told Journal de Montreal that White called and apologized for his post-fight comments (h/t Fighters Only):
Few people know it, but the next morning [White] called Georges and told him ‘I’m sorry, I watched the fight again and you have indeed won. I spoke under the influence of emotion.’ Georges told him not to worry, that he understood.
Despite Midoux’s claims, White went on UFC Tonight the following Wednesday and continued to publicly claim that St-Pierre owed Hendricks a rematch. He also stated that he hadn’t re-watched the fight, and he still felt like Hendricks deserved the decision.
It would seem like the MMA world is trapped in an unending battle of he said, he said.
Regardless, Midoux thinks a public offense deserves a public apology. He seems to feel like White is sweet-talking St-Pierre behind closed doors, while simultaneously trying to preserve his own public image:
If I were [GSP], I would ask for a public apology from White, who should say to the media that Georges has really won the fight. …What was said and done by Dana White was not correct. It confuses some roles. White enters the octagon to put on the belt. Georges goes there to fight as if his life depended on it. Georges is a lion that has respect, and White is a buffoon without respect.
UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta came galloping in on a white horse a little over a week ago to do damage control. In an interview with Ariel Helwani, he said that White was “misunderstood” and St-Pierre “doesn’t owe the UFC anything.”
Is White’s alleged private apology and Fertitta’s clarification enough to let bygones be bygones, or should White step up to the podium and address St-Pierre in the same manner he reprimanded him?