Coaches, teammates and friends have teased fans for years that former UFC welterweight king Georges St-Pierre (pictured) will be returning to the UFC sooner rather than never.
On Monday, we finally heard from the horse’s mouth that a comeback is imminent if a deal can be reached.
“I did a training camp to see where I’m at because I was training,” St-Pierre said on “The MMA Hour. “Being in shape and being in fighting shape is something different. I did a training camp to push myself and go back to the same, highest level of competition. I didn’t fight, but I put myself through a training camp and I sparred and everything and I did it successfully.
“Now I know for a fact I could go back and fight if my management and the UFC get to an agreement.”
St-Pierre was the UFC’s most decorated welterweight champion when he voluntarily vacated his title and abruptly walked away from MMA in December 2013 to “take a break.” GSP later revealed that the UFC’s lax drug testing policy was one of his primary reasons for leaving the game at the peak of his illustrious career.
The 35-year-old had stated he would never return to the UFC unless more rigorous drug testing was in place. Last July, the UFC hired the USADA to conduct random, year-round drug tests on all of their athletes.
Now that the UFC has addressed their PED problem, St-Pierre appears to have the fire burning in his belly again.
St-Pierre didn’t want to get ahead of himself because his agent is still in negotiations with the UFC, but an immediate title tilt against freshly-minted middleweight champion Michael Bisping intrigues him, stating he has more skills, athleticism and a higher fighting IQ than Bisping.
“I have a lot to lose in this, because I finished on top,” St-Pierre said. “I finished as champion, and that’s the way everybody would like to leave the sport – on top, healthy and wealthy – and I did it. If I go back, it needs to be for something big. I think for my first fight, it needs to be for something big, and that’ll give me the swing and the momentum to do it again and again and again for another run.”
UFC 200 would have been the perfect time for St-Pierre to return if he would have made his announcement two months ago. However, the UFC will make its debut inside New York’s famed Madison Square Garden on November 12. That event will be of the blockbuster variety and makes perfect sense if both sides can come to terms.
St-Pierre owns a 25-2 professional record. He holds the UFC record for most consecutive welterweight title defenses with nine. Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva holds the company record with 10.