Georges St-Pierre gave the strongest indication yet that he is close to a UFC return, during Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour.
Considered by many as the greatest of all-time, GSP hasn’t fought since his split decision win over Johny Hendricks in 2013 – but the Canadian has regularly been touted to return ever since his departure.
Recent murmurs of a comeback however, seem to have substance.
St-Pierre told Ariel Helwani that his people were talking “more seriously” with the UFC, but admitted that there were a number of obstacles to overcome before he signed a contract with the world’s premier MMA promotion. He said that he would have to do a full-training camp to see how his body responds before making a decision and also revealed some financial concerns.
“One of the main issues….when I was in contract, the Reebok deal was not in place,” said St-Pierre. “So now because of the Reebok deal, it changes a lot of things in my contract. We need to renegotiate, maybe a new contract. I’m not allowed to wear my sponsors anymore and I lose money – so it depends on how it’s going to go down with UFC”.
“I’m 34-year-olds, I’m going to be 35 soon – I’m in the best shape of my life. Now I’ve just finished training, I’m training very hard and I feel great”.
The welterweight division is arguably one of the most talented in the UFC right now, stacked with talent from top to bottom. With all the main contenders booked to face each other, champion Robbie Lawler is without an opponent.
When asked if he was offered a shot at Lawler’s title at UFC 200, GSP declined to give an answer out of respect for the UFC.
“No, I cannot comment on that. If there is any announcing for fighting, it’s gonna be the UFC that will decide how they’re gonna do that. I don’t want to go out of the way and say anything myself – it’s respect. If the UFC want to do something, and there is a deal in place – it’s going to be on their term.”
St-Pierre’s coach Firas Zahabi not only thinks the Canadian could return and be competitive, speaking alongside GSP over the the phone – he labeled the former champion ‘the best welterweight in the world’.
“I think he’s still training with the hunger, with the desire, with the killer instincts,” said Zahabi. “He is in practice, he’s dominant.”
It still remains to be seen whether he will return, but the undisputed king of the welterweight division seems on the verge of doing so.