Dana White’s Post UFC 167 GSP Comments Prompts Media Backlash
After Georges St. Pierre won a controversial split-decision victory over Johny Hendricks and promptly said he was going to step away from the sport, an irate Dana White showed his displeasure with the champion at the post-fight press conference.
“He said ‘I’m going to take some time off,’ White said. “No…You don’t just say ‘I’ll take some time off, maybe I’ll be back, maybe I won’t.'”
White continued, “you owe it to the fans, you owe it to that belt, you owe it to this company and you owe it to Johny Hendricks to give him that opportunity to fight again… Whatever the hell it was that he was saying. That’s not how it works. It doesn’t work that way.”
Due to his comments, many in the MMA media had criticism for White’s comments.
Jonathan Snowden, Bleacher Report writer said “a decent human being would be worried about St-Pierre’s well-being, especially after a fight that left him clearly discombobulated. But it seemed like that was the farthest thing from White’s mind. No one at the press conference, except St-Pierre himself, seemed concerned about the gruesome beating he had just experienced or its physical and emotional costs.”
MMAFighting’s Chuck Mindenhall said “maybe White was caught up in the maelstrom of events. After all, later on, once he talked to GSP just before his media scrum, he seemed to have calmed down a little bit. But the sentiment was there. Surely St-Pierre wouldn’t walk away after a fight like that. In the heat of the moment, with Twitter and White still raging about the fight he just “lost,” St-Pierre looked like a thief with the belt glinting there in front of him, reflecting his own battered face and secrets.”
Mindenhall went on and said “Who’s to say he [St. Pierre] can’t walk away if he wants to? Nobody.”
Sports on Earth writer Tomas Rios said “UFC President Dana White reacted to the news in the manner one would expect of a slavemaster. His comments (post-fight) cleared up any confusion as to whether UFC fighters are entertainment chattel.”
Rios continued, “Some confluence of issues has forced St-Pierre into semi-retirement and White mostly can’t believe that one of his prized punch-monkeys has the nerve to exercise free will. Meanwhile, human beings capable of sympathy will take note that St-Pierre is clearly and rightfully concerned with the possibility that head trauma and brain cells don’t get along.”
Fightline writer Zach Arnold said White’s criticism was purely based on money. “When UFC loses leverage on a fighter, they panic in both public and private,” Arnold wrote. “The meltdowns can be ugly to watch. Without St. Pierre, UFC’s PPV numbers are hitting a ceiling of around 400,000 buys. Jon Jones and Cain Velasquez aren’t going to save the day.”
MMAjunkie’s Ben Fowlkes said “the champ doesn’t get to just abscond with the belt because his girlfriend broke up with him and he’s sad now (or, you know, whatever GSP’s personal problem is, and hopefully it’s better/worse than that). But that’s what seemed crazy about White’s rant to me, was how willing he was to blast the guy before asking why he wants to take a break or for how long.”
Fowlkes continued to say “please, let’s not get all indignant and act like a man who just got his skull pounded on by one of the division’s heaviest hitters is being selfish or ungrateful by asking for some time off.”