Lorenzo Fertitta met up with Ariel Helwani
after a press conference in New York
and discussed the rumors flying around concerning the UFC Welterweight champion and helped shed some light on the situation after GSP’s controversial split decision victory over Johnny Hendricks. After GSP’s title defense, the Champion had some interesting things to say about a possible retirement. Following GSP’s shocking statements multiple rumors began to fly about Goerge’s father possibly passing and an unplanned pregnancy that is looming over the Champ’s head.Fertitta, co-owner of the UFC, stood behind UFC Dana White’s comments, but also helped clear any confusion that may be surrounding Dana’s sharp words.
Lorenzo had this to say:
I think Dana was misunderstood and think hopefully he’s trying to clarify that. GSP doesn’t owe us anything. If he chooses to retire, the so be it, he’ll retire and become someone that people will always look up to as one of the great champions in the UFC. If he decides to fight again, than great. I think where the confusion was…Georges never communicated anything to us prior to the fight relative to that he may be making an announcement. In fact, I think Dana said that he had talked to him and he said ‘no no no, everything’s fine’.
And then after the fight, the announcement he made was very vague. And I think what Dana was trying to say was that – either you’re retired or you’re not, right? We can’t just put the UFC belt on the shelf for an undefined period, basically put it in limbo forever, because that’s not fair to the contenders that have been working their whole lifetime to get the opportunity to get the belt. It’s not fair to the fans to have the title sit on the side for too long. And it’s not fair to us as a company because we wouldn’t be able to plan. I think that’s what the message was meant to be, but I think unfortunately the press took it in a different way.
Georges doesn’t owe us anything. Just, what I think he does owe us is – clarify what you’re doing, right? Just let us know so we can plan.
The UFC CEO was asked if he thought George St-Peirre would ever fight again.
I spent a good deal of time with Georges after the fight in the so-called private meeting we had with Dana. Never once did we talk about him fighting again, never once did we talk about him retiring. It was all just talking about what was going on with Georges. At the end of the day I didn’t get any sense that he didn’t want to fight again. He didn’t talk about not wanting to fight again, or that he was tired, or anything like that. I got the sense that, he’s going on vacation, he’s going to get some rest, and he’s going to wake up very soon and get that fire again to say ‘You know what, I want to go out and fight’.
He was then asked more specifically about what GSP is going through and about the tales filling the rumor mills.
There’s a lot of rumors. Look, we talked about a lot of different things. In some ways, it’s interesting because when we bought this business, nobody knew who the fighters were. It was almost like an underground sport in a lot of ways. They could walk down the street here in New York City and eat in a restaurant and nobody would know them. There is a sense of celebrity that is now involved, and along with that celebrity, particularly when you carry a country, there’s pressure that’s associated with it. I think it’s tough to be Georges St-Pierre some days. You know what I mean? There’s a lot of pressure that goes along with it, but he’s a consummate professional and he handles it great. He always lives up to anything we’ve ever asked him to do and he always performs in the octagon in the bright lights. So I think it’s just a moment in time, and I think he’s going to be fine.
As of right now the Welterweight Champion is considered to be on vacation after his controversial split decision victory over Johnny Hendrick. GSP is dealing with personal issues that must be dealt with before he enters the spotlight again. A possible rematch is still just talk, but BJPenn.com
will keep you posted with the lasted in MMA news.