The incessant rumors are true — GSP is coming back. Now we’re coming up on three years since Georges St-Pierre edged out Johnny Hendricks for his ninth straight UFC welterweight title defense. After the fight, he famously said he needed to take some time for himself, and questioned the UFC’s lack of drug testing as one of the seemingly many reasons he was going to take time away. A falling out with Dana White ensued, and a torn ACL in 2014 further delayed any potential comeback, but the 35-year-old welterweight GOAT has rekindled his passion for fighting and announced today on The MMA Hour that he’s open to a comeback. The UFC just has to call.
Of course, like anything GSP does, the decision was made after a meticulous regimen of training and self-reflection.
“I did a training camp to see where I’m at because I was training. 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.”
But what would that fight be? He never lost his welterweight title, and will likely be considered the best welterweight ever regardless of what happens throughout the future of MMA, but GSP seems over his belt. He wants records now. He took three years away from the sport and in that time, a few fighters have crept up on his records. One being new middleweight champion Michael Bisping.
Beyond the middleweight title, GSP wants to be the roadblock in Bisping’s attempt to gain the most victories in UFC history. Bisping and GSP are currently tied at 19 wins, with the retired Matt Hughes sitting at 18, Donald Cerrone and Demian Maia at 17, and Jon Jones at 16. Unless something really weird were to happen, Cerrone and Jon Jones seem primed to beat all win records, even if GSP’s comeback lasts for years. But Bisping is nearing the twilight of his career at 37 years old. So at 35, GSP wants to effectively gain a win and force Bisping to take that loss.
“There’s two things that I’m very proud of — my welterweight title that I won and there’s another record that I hold for most wins in UFC history,” St-Pierre said. “Now I have someone who is challenging me in Michael Bisping.
“I do not believe if I fight him he would send me back to a movie set. Yes, he’s bigger than me, but I believe I have more skills, more athleticism, and a higher fighting IQ than he does. The world doesn’t revolve around me, but if it’s a fight that the fans and the UFC wants to make, they’ve got my number, they can call my agent no problem. We can organize to make it happen and make an agreement.”
“I love my sport and I still feel I’m at my best right now,” St-Pierre said. “The clock is running. I’m not getting any younger. I’m in the peak of my career and there is a shot, there is another goal, another run. I better do it and do it quick, because it is time to do it now.”
But what of Bisping’s potential rematch with Dan Henderson? What about GSP’s Under Armour deal and the loss of money with Reebok? It looks like the first British UFC champ has quite a few money fights to choose from. Hopefully, he takes Henderson first. But that’s just a personal wish. That story doesn’t seem quite finished.
(Via FOX Sports)