At the UFC 167 post fight press conference, UFC president Dana White was visibly upset at the premise that welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre was potentially going to ask for an undetermined amount of time off without giving any other answers regarding his return or retirement from the sport.
White noted several times during the 30-plus minute press conference that fighters don’t get sabbaticals, much less champions who are the biggest draw in the entire company. Luckily, White had a chance to catch up with St-Pierre after the media session and a 15-minute conversation changed the UFC president’s entire view on what’s coming next for the welterweight champion of the world.
"His problems aren’t as bad as he thinks they are. They’re personal problems. We’ll get through this. I’m confident that he will (come back)," White revealed when speaking with reporters after his conversation with St-Pierre.
"I think everything’s going to be fine, I think everything’s going to roll just like it always does."
St-Pierre didn’t want to speak about his personal life when discussing the problems he was having that led him to the decision to take time away from the sport. White believes that everything was simply blown out of proportion and he will work with St-Pierre to make sure that he gets help with whatever he needs and then returns to action within a reasonable timeline.
As of now, White is planning on putting together an immediate rematch between St-Pierre and top contender Johny Hendricks after their fight ended in very controversial fashion on Saturday night at UFC 167. White specifically stated that he doesn’t believe St-Pierre will sit out for any extended period of time, and Hendricks won’t have to fight again in the interim.
"No I don’t think so," White told FOX Sports when asked if St-Pierre would be out for any time longer than normal. "I think he’s very emotional about some sh*t that’s going on with him right now and it’s really not that bad. But to him it is, it’s the end of the world. He’s a mentally strong guy, he’s a hard working guy, he’s an honest guy, he’s a good guy. He’ll get it straightened out.
"I don’t think it’s going to be a waiting situation. I don’t think it’s going to be like that. We might have figured everything out tonight."
So despite a decision that left many shocked and maybe even appalled that Hendricks didn’t walk out of UFC 167 as the welterweight champion, he won’t have to face another fighter or wait for another title to be handed out. Hendricks will get another crack at St-Pierre as soon as the champion is ready to return.