For five rounds, Georges St. Pierre and Johny Hendricks went to war in the main event of UFC 167, in a fight that should be remembered for its greatness. But as soon as the decision was announced, a close decision giving St. Pierre his ninth straight title defense, the controversy began.
Media outlets seemed to soundly score the fight for Hendricks, giving him the first, third, and fifth round. However many fans have argued that the first round was close enough to go either way. Regardless, once again, St. Pierre is taking the hate for something out of his hands.
For years, St. Pierre has been criticized for being a boring fighter. While his decision as of late is certainly padded with a lot of decisions, it seems strange to call a guy a boring fighter when three of his last five fights won Fight of the Night. Admittedly, his fight with Shields’ didn’t live up to the hype, but Anderson Silva’s bombs against Thales Leites and Demian Maia were far worse performances.
However, for the first time in his career, it wasn’t St. Pierre’s in ring actions that got him into trouble. It was his somewhat bizarre post fight speech, where he strongly hinted at taking a break from the sport, but refused to call it retirement. This left a ton of questions. How long would he be gone for? Will he vacate the belt? What are these personal problems anyways?
Sports fans are an interesting breed. They believe their devotion is deserving of something in return. The reality is the opposite. Great moments inspire devotion. There is nothing further to be reciprocated.
St. Pierre has spent the last eight years in the UFC dominating opponents, and providing fans with plenty of great moments. His classy out of ring character has provided a welcome contrast to the thugs that permeate the boxing world. (The world is looking at you, Adrien Broner and Floyd Mayweather.)
With his post-fight comments, fans are all of a sudden questioning everything St. Pierre has accomplished both inside the ring and out. But the reality is, he owes the fans nothing. If he were to retire tomorrow, we should think of nothing more than all that he has given us — not what he hasn’t.