It’s been MMA’s biggest story since the controversial split decision at UFC 167. Georges St. Pierre announced he needed some time away from the sport, and hinted at retirement, immediately after retaining his title one more time. It was an odd moment, of course, as GSP said he needed time off. What came out afterward, of course, was that GSP was having family issues and potential paternity issues as well. While nothing concrete came of these things, of course, nothing else has come from GSP until earlier this week.
A press conference on his behalf was announced without the UFC’s involvement, leading many to speculate the champion was about to retire.
What we do know is that there are probably three options for the champion. And, since all we have is time to speculate at this juncture, I think some speculation as to what could happen this afternoon is healthy in many ways.
1. GSP Walks Away from MMA for other pastures
This is the best odds on the table, of course, and I think with it just being Dana and GSP this might be the likeliest option to happen. GSP has talked about retirement before and at this point look at his options. There’s no big money superfight between he and Anderson Silva available anymore. He’s defeated three generations of challengers over nearly a decade of a title reign, setting the standard for UFC champions for all time. He’s dominated in every facet of the game and has been the ideal fighter, champion and human being for the fight business.
Logically it makes sense. I mean, What else is left for him? I imagine in some place after the Hendricks fight he wept a little bit because, much like Alexander, he has run out of worlds to conquer. He’s wrapped the Captain America sequel and one imagines that being in movies in some capacity as an actor is significantly easier on the mind and body than fighting.
He might not make nearly the same money, far from it, but he’s got more money than he probably can spend at this point. He’s John Elway after the second Super Bowl victory; what else is left for him to do? He’s on top but the throne is slipping underneath him. Why wait to be violently forced off it when you can walk away with everything intact?
The only reason why this isn’t a slam dunk because it’s a media conference call the day before a UFC on Fox. If he was going to walk away, why not say something during the Fox broadcast? I can imagine that GSP could do it at a lull during the broadcast if there’s an early finish and getting him on a redeye tonight couldn’t be that expensive, especially for something like this.
2. GSP vacates the belt, chills for a while
This would be my prediction, if I was a gambling man, but GSP could vacate the belt and walk away from the UFC for a while. He could take a year sabbatical, do some movies and just train to stay in shape, as he decides whether or not he wants to fight again. He can’t hold onto the belt and do some genuine soul-searching, of course, as the UFC is a business. I could see Dana agreeing to let GSP walk away, do what he needs to do, and come back when he’s ready with a tune up fight and then a shot at getting his title back.
This is my personal guess as to what’s happening. Not the best odds, of course, but this is the one I’d gamble on if I had to. GSP might want to fight but just needs a break to recharge, mentally, and vacating the title wouldn’t be unprecedented. It’s happened before, of course, and the money that could be made with GSP’s comeback fight would be substantial.
I think that’s why GSP and Dana are on the conference call, honestly. It’s a chance for the two to explain what’s happening. I think if he was going to retire he’d do so in a press release or before a big card, ala Matt Hughes.
3. GSP/Hendricks 2 is happening at UFC 172
UFC 172 is most likely going to be in April 2014, based on the current schedule, and GSP stating he’s back ala Anderson Silva would be a surprise but not all that unexpected. GSP could’ve looked at everything that’s happened and gone “I am better than this and I need to fight Johny again. I have to, if only for some messed up pride I have inside of me.”
We can laugh about motivation but guys don’t get to the spot that GSP does without wanting it so badly they can’t live without it. I imagine he could’ve been sitting around, drinking wine with Mike Ricci and Rory MacDonald while watching Downton Abbey and been thinking that all he wants to do is punch “Bigg Rigg” in the face again. Maybe all the backlash to the close decision, to his wanting of time away, lit a fire in that dark place he spoke of once and it just kept repeating one mantra: fight Johny again.
I doubt this will happen, of course, as Hendricks isn’t on the call and nothing in the rumor mill suggests anything of this ilk is happening. But don’t be surprised if he has that itch to punch a certain wrestler from Oklahoma in the face and Dana White wants him to scratch it. With his money.
4. GSP just saved a ton on his car insurance
It would be the ultimate troll from the UFC, of course, but it could be worth it.
Tags: Georges St. Pierre, Mixed Martial Arts