I wrote most of this in a response to one of the stories but felt I needed to post it separately. Please forgive me if you've already read it.
This is my very first FanPost but I have been an avid reader of Bloody Elbow for a very long time and I have been a fan of the UFC longer than I have been a fan of GSP and please consider that I have been a fan of GSP since his first fight in the UFC (UFC46 vs Karo Parisyan).
I have seen every single UFC (through the magic of the internet for the hard to find ones) and I watch every weigh-in, every pre-fight press conference available, every post fight press conference, interview, etc….Let’s just say I am a bit of a fan.
I believe that GSP left for a multitude of reasons, but that one of the reasons was because the UFC didn’t support his efforts for enhanced drug testing. He is NOT saying that is the ONLY reason he left. He is NOT saying that Johny Hendricks is using illegal substances. He is NOT saying he wanted to form a fighters union. He is NOT saying that he wanted the UFC to force Johny Hendricks to take the enhanced testing too. In fact, he isn’t crusading anything. He merely provided some answers to some questions asked. I also believe that he is not confident in his english enough to make direct, complicated responses when confronted by the media or Dana White.
GSP has always come across as an intelligent, thoughtful and respectful person, who has always conducted himself very professionally.
Dana White drives some people crazy (rightfully) with his petulance but to me he has come across as a sincere and caring fight promoter and fan. I know he has been very wrong about many of his statements but I believe that for the most part, he isn’t trying to deceive anyone. I believe he answers questions as honestly and forthright as he can in the moment. I also believe he doesn’t spend a lot of time trying to "spin" his thoughts into something more palatable for the masses.
All that being said, I believe that the UFC (Dana specifically) should have taken a more supportive position towards GSP’s drug testing efforts. There was no negative intentions on GSP’s behalf and it only served to benefit the overall product that the UFC produces. Calling it "weird" and calling GSP and Hendricks "stupid" did not serve the situation at all.
Surely Dana’s tirade at the 167 post fight presser (before GSP got there) did nothing to help build the UFC product either.
I hope that the UFC can review their position on this because, for the first time in a long time, I have thought about not "tuning in" for a while, and I don’t think they are serving their brand well here.