Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre opened a lot of eyes at a media scrum on Tuesday. GSP revealed that the UFC's lack of support as he worked to improve PED testing in the sport was a major factor in his decision to step away from fighting. He also called the UFC a 'monopoly' where "(fighters) can't really talk because if one says what he thinks, he will get punished." Very bold statements from the former poster boy of the promotion.
UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta was the first representative to respond to GSP's comments. He told Yahoo! Sports:
We've always had an open line of communication with him and I'd like to know why he feels that way
"It was extremely disappointing to hear Georges make those comments because I don't think any organization has embraced drug testing as we have," Fertitta said. "We have not only agreed to pay when the commission has said it wants to do enhanced testing, we've encouraged it. We have no problem with testing. When we serve as the commission [in areas out of the country where there is no commission], we test everyone on the card so we are thorough and there can be no claims of bias.
"Whatever a commission would want us to do in terms of testing, we would embrace it. We'll do as many as they want. I think perhaps Georges' people didn't communicate to him in detail everything we'd do as they tried to arrange the testing for the fight with him and Johny."
As Lorenzo alluded to, the UFC did step up and pay the bill for the WADA-standard testing the Nevada Athletic Commission required of Josh Barnett and Travis Brown for their UFC 168 bout.
However, Fertitta's statement here appears to be very cleaned up version of UFC president Dana White's testing mantra, "We're tested by the government." St-Pierre wasn't talking about commission testing, which has been heavily criticized for being ineffective. When he opted for third party testing through VADA, White called it "a little weird." Then when the additional testing fell through prior to his last title defense against Johny Hendricks, Dana said both fighters "look stupid." With that in mind it's easy to see how GSP took offense to the reaction from the UFC brass.
Watch our own Kid Nate give his take on what it all means from the MMA Bunker: