UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre said following his win over Johny Hendricks that he needed to “step away for a little bit,” and at the UFC 167 post-fight press conference that he had personal problems, but didn't reveal what those problems were.
As you can imagine, rumors and speculation have abounded since he uttered those words.
Celebrity gossip site TMZ.com made GSP's personal problems much more public on Monday.
Citing an anonymous source close to the situation, the outlet reported that St-Pierre is currently dealing with the declining health of his father, as well as an unwanted pregnancy.
TMZ is not always known for the reliability of its sources, and at least in the case of St-Pierre's father, it would appear that piece of information was not correct.
St-Pierre's sister, Myriam, spoke directly to LaPresse.ca, a Canadian news site, denying the accusations about their father's health. She said that their father was in good health and called for reports to the contrary to stop because it was causing pain for their family.
“I don't know where this rumor came from, but this is wrong,” she said.
Myriam did not, however, comment on the TMZ report citing an “unwanted pregnancy” as part of St-Pierre's problems.
Immediately following his UFC 167 win, St-Pierre told UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan in his post-fight interview that he needed to step away from the Octagon for a while. The champ didn't, however, say how long he would be gone.
“I am going to hang my gloves up for a little bit and make sense of my life,” said St-Pierre. “I have to go away for a little bit at least. Personal things are happening. I have to step away for a bit, that’s all I can say right now.”
UFC President Dana White spoke privately with St-Pierre immediately following the post-fight press conference. Shortly after that conversation, White downplayed the scale of the fighter's problems to a group of reporters.
“His problems aren't as big as he thinks they are,” he said.
White wouldn't reveal what he and St-Pierre talked about, and it is unclear what information St-Pierre shared with his boss.
Even St-Pierre's trainer, Firas Zahabi, hasn't unveiled much about St-Pierre's issues and whether or not he will return to the Octagon.
“Honestly, I have no idea. I'm not inside of Georges' head,” Zahabi told Fox Sports. “I know Georges is a warrior, but I have no idea. Listen, he's spent more time inside the Octagon than any other human being. Everybody's got a limit how long they want to do this for. How many rounds they want to do, how much fight they have in them, and everybody's got a limit. Georges has literally done more than any man on the planet. Does he still have more? I don't know, that's up to him. It's a really personal thing.”
The only thing that is clear is that there are definitely some issues that St-Pierre is struggling with, but isn't quite ready to reveal to the world. We are left to wait, wondering what the future holds for the UFC's greatest welterweight champion.
“Later on, I’ll make a point about that,” St-Pierre said at UFC 167. “Right now I have to go away for a little bit.”