After now-former UFC welterweight king Georges St-Pierre announced during Friday’s conference call that he was vacating his title to take an indefinite leave from mixed martial arts, he rushed off to a previously scheduled appointment in a Quebec City mall.
During the fan Q&A session, St-Pierre revealed he had to push past UFC PR and security in order to attend last month’s UFC 167 post-fight press conference. It was the same presser where a heated UFC president Dana White (pictured) blasted St-Pierre for unexpectedly stating during his in-Octagon interview that he needed to walk away from MMA to deal with personal issues after a highly controversial split decision victory over Johny Hendricks.
White claimed St-Pierre owed it to everyone to grant Hendricks an immediate rematch. White made his comments about St-Pierre before his biggest pay-per-view draw arrived at the podium, but after claiming GSP wouldn’t attend the presser because he was rushed to the hospital.
After hearing St-Pierre’s story of being blocked from attending the press conference, some fans started connecting the dots and accused White of ordering St-Pierre’s ban from the presser.
Totally untrue, says White.
“I wanted to clear something up that came up [Friday]. When Georges St-Pierre did his press conference [in Quebec City], he talked about how [the UFC PR] were telling him he couldn’t come to the press conference. So, I don’t know for those of you who were there that night, I came out and said, ‘Georges St-Pierre went to the hospital.’ My PR people told me that he had gone to the hospital in an ambulance. And then when he was trying to go to the press conference, the doctors were telling him, ‘No,’ that he had to go to the hospital. He was saying, ‘No, I want to go to the press conference.’
“We don’t tell guys, ‘You can’t go to the press conference.’ Never told a guy, ‘You can’t go,’ especially Georges St-Pierre. Nobody’s going to tell Georges St-Pierre after a title fight that he can’t go to the press conference. I just wanted to clear that stupidity up. There’s always some conspiracy theory, like, ‘I was mad. He wasn’t allowed to come to the press conference.’ A little bit was lost in translation there when Georges was telling that story.”
UFC post-fight press conferences are hectic enough as is, but if you add the controversy surrounding St-Pierre’s surprising win and even more shocking quasi-retirement announcement immediately following, it’s easy to see how this misunderstanding happened.
Or, if you’re said conspiracy theorist: White did have GSP barred from the presser and “Rush” did have to fight through UFC PR and security to address the media. Now, White is trying to cover his tail because St-Pierre is no longer on his payroll and can throw his now-former boss under the bus without fear of repercussions.