The world of MMA was on fire for a few brief moments when the long-rumored return of welterweight GOAT Georges St-Pierre finally turned out to be real. After two long years away from the Octagon — this was happening — and the logjam for the next welterweight challenger could be cleared out for a meeting of champions. For a few minutes, Lawler-GSP posters danced in our heads and all was right in the world. And unlike the UFC 196 fiasco, this made sense.
For months, GSP had been making cryptic comments about a return to the Octagon. The sport needed to get cleaned up, and with new drug test enhancements in the UFC being enforced, GSP was likely pleased. Rumors out of his home gym Tri-Star claimed that GSP was still the beast he always was, working with young talent like Rick Story and Sage Northcutt. It was only a matter of time, right? St-Pierre’s own coach, Firas Zahabi, told ESPN that he was gauging a possible come back on January 5, 2016:
“Georges is in Montreal right now. He’s getting his body in shape and we’re going to explore options in the near future… I see him in practice all the time and the guy is incredible. He’s still the best. I think Georges is going to make a splash soon.”
One day after those remarks, Under Armour dropped a bombshell:
But no! The tweet was promptly deleted, and everyone involved claimed ignorance. Was St-Pierre coming out of retirement or not? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and the smoke of maple trees and empty Nos cans were filling the sky. All we needed to hear was the words.
Three weeks later, we got them:
Translated through the ever-reliable Google Translate machine, the tweet stated simply that GSP would be announcing his return in the coming days. But buzz of a GSP return lasted only a few hours, as GSP himself made a Jordan-esque response to the Canadian Press regarding his impending return:
At this point, it seems like the safe money is on GSP returning for a battle against Robbie Lawler in a bid to get his belt back, or perhaps a long-awaited superfight against Anderson Silva, or even Conor McGregor.
(Via Bloody Elbow)