One of the UFC’s longest-bubbling yet strangely under-the-radar controversies involves allegations of performance-enhancing drug use against its longest-reigning champion, Georges St-Pierre, lodged by his next challenger, Johny Hendricks. The two had a private and then a public back and forth about testing, about who’s doing what and which one is cleaner, but will mostly leave without resolution.
In the end, St-Pierre enrolled in the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association’s program and has undergone random testing through a World Anti-Doping Agency accredited lab, while Hendricks declined, saying he would have preferred another organization’s testing procedures.
Apparently, St-Pierre’s efforts have not been enough for Hendricks, who appears to have grown some anger and resentment towards the welterweight champion during the time leading up to their UFC 167 headliner. Things have progressed enough that even in the last hours prior to the event, the bubbling emotion has boiled over, with Hendricks clearly insinuating that GSP is a cheater.
"Have you seen him in the last two months? He shrank a little bit, hasn’t he? Huh? Huh?" Hendricks said of St-Pierre in a media interview after Wednesday’s workout.
Reading between the lines, his inference is that St-Pierre cycled off whatever he was taking in order to pass the VADA drug testing he signed up.
To date, St-Pierre has passed all tests, so what is Hendricks’ evidence? Well, the ever-scientific eye test.
"Realistically, I don’t know. I haven’t seen the guy. I saw him on the press tour," he said. "The only thing I know is that whenever I step into the Octagon, do I still have a six-pack? Check out my pictures. I’m fat. You know what I mean? But I love it. I love it. I’m a fat dude.
"I’m pretty shredded at 170," he continued. "Let’s be honest. I have very little body fat [at 170]. I look good right now at 184. I look pretty strong, pretty jacked. But whenever I step into that Octagon, I was looking at a picture with (Carlos) Condit, I was like, ‘Dude, you’re fat.’ You can’t see the bottom two abs.
"And that’s the thing is that you don’t gain 15, 20 pounds and still keep that form. Everybody bloats a little bit. You don’t put 20 pounds of water in your system without bloating. I don’t give a crap what he’s on. I just need him to step into that Octagon on Nov. 16."
While St-Pierre is a notorious workout freak and does not allow himself to get out of shape, Hendricks went on to say he was returning fire after earlier in the day, St-Pierre implied in a separate interview that Hendricks might be up to no good after declining to enroll in any increased testing program.
St-Pierre has been the subject of several such rumors in the past, notably by B.J. Penn when the two had a champion vs. champion fight in 2009. Because of that history, Hendricks wondered why the welterweight champion was suddenly going on the offensive.
"I said if he’s on something, continue to do it. If he’s not, then what’s the big deal?" he said. "What I said is, ‘You’re about to retire.’ He knows that. The last six years, he’s been accused, right? It’s accusations, right? Word of mouth is very powerful. You know that, I know that. If I win this belt, I’ll go to WADA. I can afford it. And I’ll prove to the world I don’t need drugs. So what I said is, if we’re going to drug-test, let’s do the hardest, toughest drug tests possible."
Hendricks said none of this public exchange will affect him or blurry his focus, and that his hands will be the game-changer as St-Pierre attempts to notch his ninth successful title defense.
Hendricks (15-1) is listed as the underdog, but boasts the closest fight odds-wise that St-Pierre has had since he faced Penn.
"I can’t wait to deck the crap out of him," Hendricks said. "I want his eyes to roll back in his head. That’s my goal. That’s my goal for every fight, is to hit them as hard as I can. I know I’ll land."