Morning Report: Firas Zahabi talks Georges St-Pierre's frustrations and explains testing demands

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Firas Zahabi, founder of Montreal's TriStar Gym and trainer to UFC Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, spoke with SiriusXM Fight Club this week about comments the champ had made about a lack of support from the UFC. St-Pierre told a Canadian media outlet he didn't feel fully backed in his pursuit of more extensive drug screenings. When asked how St-Pierre felt the UFC had let him down, Zahabi gives his take on the debacle:

"I'm not sure exactly what he meant to ... we're kind of passed that,' said Zahabi. "We don't really talk about it anymore. We just do the testing. At the end of the day, we wanted VADA because VADA can ensure HGH testing. If you really want to know the nuts and bolts, they were going to ensure HGH testing on every test. Doing it the other way, with Nevada, they wanted to do it random. Nobody knows when we're testing at any time. We're OK with random testing. We want random testing plus HGH on every test. So it doesn't matter the cost. 'It costs more to do that test?' Fine, do it for every single test because we to hear anybody say anymore that Georges is taking growth hormones. Georges has been accused of that for years, since the beginning of his pro career, and we want to be able to prove to everybody that he's been tested thoroughly for HGH."

What followed was a highly publicized back and forth between not only the two fighters' camps, but also Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

"It turned out to be a controversy. It turned out to be a big problem. We had a lot of misunderstandings. I think everybody wants to be clean. I think Johny Hendricks is clean. I think Georges is clean. I think everybody wants to do the best job possible, but it was just too ... I don't know. Everybody interpreted one thing from the next. Johny Hendricks said 'Oh, you guys want to do VADA? Then we don't want to do VADA.' Not Johny Hendricks himself, but his camp. And they were like 'We want to do the most thorough testing possible,' and they don't even test for HGH or whatnot."

Frustrated by the entire process, Zahabi says he was willing to help bankroll the testing himself to finally settle the matter.

"There was just so much back and forth and I don't even know who was saying what anymore. I just said 'look, just test them with both tests. Get the best test possible. Get the highest criteria possible. Lets do that.' I'm ready to put money in myself if that's going to make everyone happy. I know it's quite expensive, but I was ready to do anything to make everybody happy and just have the strictest testing. It just didn't work out that way. Georges was disappointed with the UFC. I don't know why, you'd have to ask him, but it was a big controversy for something so simple."

UFC president Dana White told Ariel Helwani Thursday that he doesn't understand St-Pierre's concerns regarding the UFC's support, calling the situation 'f***ing weird.'

"I don't know how 'we didn't back him up,' said White. The UFC was involved in all of those conversations that they had with the commission. Originally, Georges St-Pierre said he was going to pay for it, then he wasn't going to pay for it. Just the whole thing was done very weird. If he feels we didn't support him ... I mean, I don't know. The whole thing is f***ing weird."

"I haven't talked to him about it. He's very fired up about it because he went out there and started this thing and then it turned into a huge clusterf**k. I don't know what to say. I don't know what to tell him. The whole f***ing thing is weird."

St-Pierre will defend his welterweight title to Hendricks in the main event at UFC 167 on Nov. 16, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via gspwinsfights.

A rational argument for GSP as the G.O.A.T.

Brazilian Anderson Silva and Canadian George "GSP" St. Pierre are two competitors who usually show up near the top on the best fighter in MMA pound-for-pound lists. I will exclude Jon Jones at the moment, the future will determine whether he claims the all-time title. While Silva has been a human wrecking ball destroying such greats as Rich Franklin (twice), and Dan Henderson en route to 16 straight wins before his loss to Weidman, St. Pierre has used his superior wrestling game to suffocate opponents and literally make them quit on the mat while winning his last 16 out of 17 fighst in the UFC. In short their records stand at a eerily similar 16-1 over their last 17 fights during a period which many call the golden age of MMA.

Often called the best wrestler in MMA, the criticism against St. Pierre recently has been his inability to finish fights as he has six straight decision wins. Silva on the other hand has always been a devastating finisher, but it seems that his embarrassing wealth of talent has dulled his competitive edge and lately he seems content to taunt his opponents in the ring in a bizarre manner rather than try and finish them. Their most recent fights are probably the best indicator to use when arguing which of these fighters is better pound-for-pound or the.

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Check out the rest of the post here.

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Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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