Since defeating Johny Hendricks by split decision at UFC 167 and then saying he was going to “hang my gloves up for a little bit and make sense of my life,” UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has been the subject of numerous rumors.
Celebrity gossip site TMZ.com initially reported that St-Pierre had gotten a girl pregnant, and also that his father was gravely ill and dying. Other rumors swirled that he may have some sort of substance abuse issue.
TMZ then released a video of someone catching up with St-Pierre in an airport, and this time, the champion went on record to clear the air… at least to a degree.
“Oh yeah, the rumors,” he responded when asked about whether he was going to be a father or not. “No, I’m by myself, alone, having a good life. I’m not a dad, I’m not in rehab, and my father is not dying.”
St-Pierre went on to say, “Everybody is happy. I’m fine. I’m tip-top shape, just I bruise easy. I’ll be training when I go back to Montreal on Monday.”
That would have seemed to clear up most of the questions that have been swirling about St-Pierre and the personal issues that he earlier said he had to make sense of before he could continue fighting.
But while UFC president Dana White has mentioned that he is already working on a rematch between St-Pierre and Hendricks, the champ left a cloud of doubt over that development with another comment.
When asked if he was stepping out of the fighting game, St-Pierre responded, “Yeah, I’m stepping out, but I’ll be training for myself.”
That comment certainly leaves the field wide open for further speculation as to what we can expect from St-Pierre in the future, even though he tweeted recently, “Johny and I gave you the Fight of the Night- hope you enjoyed it! Forget all the rumors- on vacation, happy & well!!!”
Will St-Pierre step away in a normal attempt to decompress following the pressures of another major fight and then return in a timely fashion? Does he need to take a more significant leave of absence to deal with whatever his “personal issues” are? Is the rematch that White wants to put together really going to happen anytime soon?
Until St-Pierre has had a little time to reflect and discuss the situation with those closest to him, and his bosses at the UFC, we’re likely to be left lingering, at least in the short term.