Dana White says it will be an issue if Georges St-Pierre decides to take an extended break from the sport.
The UFC president made the comments during an interview Tuesday with Sportsnet. St-Pierre, the UFC welterweight champion, is expected to address his future at a media event Friday in Quebec City.
“Georges St-Pierre never said to me that he is thinking about retiring,” White said when asked if he is aware of what St-Pierre plans to say. “The retirement word never came out of his mouth. I don’t think that he’s going to retire. I do know that he wants some time off, which is an issue. He just had over a year off for his ACL surgery and recovery, so we’ll see.”
Following his controversial split decision win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 last month in Las Vegas, GSP suggested he would be stepping away from the sport.
“I have a bunch of stuff in my life happening. I have to hang up my gloves for a bit,” St-Pierre told UFC commentator Joe Rogan after the fight. “I have to go away for a little bit at least. That’s all I can say right now.”
White, who thought Hendricks was the clear winner, went on a rant about GSP's comments afterwards.
“There’s no doubt that I had a bit of a meltdown at the [UFC 167] press conference, but who’s ever had more positive things to say about Georges St-Pierre in the last 13 years than me," said White. "If I had 475 Georges St-Pierre’s [on the UFC roster] my life would be very easy.”
Friday’s event is at a skating rink at a Quebec City mall, where GSP is scheduled to meet fans and sign autographs. Rodolphe Beaulieu, St-Pierre’s manager, told the Canadian Press the event was booked prior to UFC 167 and GSP's comments regarding his future in the sport.
And while it's unknown what St-Pierre plans to say, White doesn’t believe GSP will be dropping any bombshells Friday.
“He’s not making any announcement on Friday,” White said. “This thing was planned for months. He’s going up to the opening of a mall and he’s signing autographs for fans and he’s going to do 10 minutes with the media. I’m not saying he might not have something to say in these 10 minutes. He might.”
White also dismissed a report alleging he told one of GSP’s cornermen, Kristof Midoux, that he re-watched the fight after the fact and re-scored it for GSP.
“I have not watched the fight again and I never said that,” White said.
White added that he is “scheduled to talk to Georges St-Pierre on Thursday when he gets back from his vacation and we’ll see where we’re at.”