Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks is, by all accounts, one of the biggest fights of 2013. Yet a few months out from UFC 167's main event, most of the discussion has revolved around St-Pierre and Hendricks' disastrous attempt to enlist the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) for extensive out-of-competition drug testing.
In the opinion of UFC President Dana White, St-Pierre's efforts have thus far been a waste of time.
"I think it makes them both look stupid. These guys are going to get tested by the athletic commission," White said on Thursday's FOXSports Google Hangout.
"This is something that Georges St-Pierre wants to prove to everybody, because for years people have been saying (he's on PEDs). When he fought B.J. (Penn), B.J. talked smack about him. Other people have talked stuff. The kid, not only is he another guy that's been with us since day one, he's never tested positive for anything even remotely close to anything bad. He's never tested positive for anything. He's always been a straight shooter and always professional, yet people keep talking smack about him. I just think it's crazy for him to even do this."
St-Pierre first proposed additional VADA testing in early July, then told MMAFighting.com in August that he planned to pay for any auxiliary costs out of his own pocket.
"I'm ready to pay [for our testing] myself, because I'm the champion," St-Pierre said at the time. "All from my purse, I paid for the tests because I'm the champion. That's why I'm ready, I'm ready to do it. That's a point I want to make.
"I want to prove also that it's possible to be champion without using drugs, and I know VADA is the most professional, it is the best for that."
Hendricks initially accepted the testing, however he later recanted, citing concerns with VADA's impartiality.
St-Pierre is featured expansively on VADA's website, and for Hendricks, the risk of putting his long-awaited UFC title shot in the hands of a third-party with obvious ties to St-Pierre was too suspicious.
"I don't know GSP and for him to say, ‘Yeah, let's go take the test over here and nowhere else that I suggested or that even the UFC suggested,' that's a little suspect to me," Hendricks recently said on The MMA Hour. "My career is held in his hands and here he has a foot in the door with the VADA group."
Hendricks' hesitance coupled with St-Pierre's staunchness and the ensuing exposé conducted by SB Nation's Brent Brookhouse and Matt Roth have now created a backdrop of suspicion behind the bout. It's one that White believes could've been avoided if St-Pierre hadn't extended his reach beyond that of the standard system.
"I just think it makes everything cloudy, man," White said. "There's a system in place by the government for combat sports, and it's just a pain in the ass for them.
"They can do whatever they want. They want to do it, they don't want to do it, I could care less."