It’s been three years since Georges St-Pierre stepped away from the octagon to pursue a career in … dinosaur bone hunting, I think, and the welterweight division is still feeling the chaotic effects of his absence to this day. At first, it seemed that Johny Hendricks would be the next king to hold dominion over the division, but just like his brief foray into restauranteering, Bigg Rigg’s reign was woefully short-lived. Then, the division found its champion in the most unlikely of fighters, Robbie “Ruthless” Lawler, whose pair of classic performances over Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit painted him as nothing short of a Dothraki bloodrider reincarnate. And then Tyron Woodley KO’d him in two minutes a couple weeks back, which … (*shrug*).
The point is that the welterweight division is more open for the taking than ever before, and with Matt Serra now enjoying the luxurious post-fight life of a part-time podcaster and full-time gabagool consumer, Georges St-Pierre is basically the only man left to take it. Rumors of GSP’s return have been rumbling around the interwebs for some time now, and began to pick up steam last week when the former champ offered to challenge Woodley in his return fight.
Now, it seems that the rumors actually have some meat to them, thanks to none other than St-Pierre himself. In an interview with Israel-based writer Ram Gilboa (via BloodyElbow), St-Pierre broke the huge news that he has already begun preparations for his comeback.
My agent is negotiating with the UFC, they had an offer, we made a counteroffer, you know that’s how business goes. And then we heard a day after that UFC sold for $4 billion dollars. So we waited for a few days, to see what was going on, because even some of the employees were afraid of losing their job – even some of the high ranking people in the UFC were afraid. We wanted to let the management to take care of their own company first, and then see what happens.
Now we’re talking again and I’m starting the USADA process to be tested, I’m starting it Aug 10. in Las Vegas. Because to be eligible to fight you need to be tested.
Pretty smart of GSP to skip the whole “I’m a jacked white boy, deal with it” phase of his UFC comeback, if you ask me.
For Woodley, a fight with St-Pierre would be the obvious choice to make, in that it both meets his needs for “a money fight” (aka the reason he already turned down a fight with the division’s true No. 1 contender, Stephen Thompson) and would validate his position as the “true” welterweight champion (being that St-Pierre never actually lost the belt). As such, Woodley all but confirmed that St-Pierre would be his next opponent during a radio interview with Siruis XM’s Jason Ellis, saying that “I got a text message from Georges St-Pierre saying that he’s in on the fight.”
Of course, St-Pierre isn’t the only money fight on the table for Woodley as it stands. Nick Diaz has already said that he’d be willing to fight Lawler at UFC 202 in August “if the money’s right,” so we’ll have to see how this all shakes out in the coming weeks. In any case, it looks like “Wonderboy” Thompson is gonna need to up his trash-talking game if he ever wants to obliterate…er…challenge Woodley for the gold.