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Georges St-Pierre replies to Johny Hendricks' calls for a rematch: 'Stick around for a bit'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Last Saturday, for the first time since 2007, Georges St-Pierre watched a non-interim UFC welterweight title fight from the comfort of a living room couch.

Not only that, but St-Pierre did so in the company of popular actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. So suffice to say, the now former champ enjoyed his UFC 171 experience.

"I was just watching it as a fan and it was a lot of fun," St-Pierre said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.

"Personally I scored the fight to Johny Hendricks. I believe he had rounds one, two and five. Most people I know, they think it was (Robbie) Lawler that won the fight. It was a very tight fight though, it could've gone either way."

As a result of St-Pierre's decision to vacant his welterweight title and take an indefinite leave of absence from MMA, the belt was once again up for grabs, and Hendricks and Lawler engaged in a remarkable war of attrition for the right to succeed St-Pierre as UFC champion.

Much of the fight was spent inside the pocket, as both men traded heavy blows for 25 minutes. Hendricks ultimately took the judges' decision by a unanimous verdict, with two out of the three judges agreeing with St-Pierre's assessment and awarding Hendricks rounds one, two and five.

"I think it came down to the first round," St-Pierre said of the fight. "I believe Lawler, the rounds that he won, it was more decisively, and he did more damage on the face, but sometimes that doesn't mean anything.

"Lawler had a lot of damage too, but you couldn't see the damage on the legs. Damage on the face sometimes is superficial, so that's one of the reasons I think Hendricks won the fight."

While the fireworks provided by Hendricks and Lawler made for an entertaining Saturday night, they did little to spark St-Pierre's interest in returning to the sport he dominated for close to a decade.

St-Pierre has made it no secret that he walked away from MMA due to what he perceives to be a rampant PED problem across the sport's landscape, as well as unspecified personal issues. And until those two matters can be addressed, St-Pierre expects to remain on the sidelines.

"When I fought Carlos Condit, I was really hungry," he said. "When I fought (Nick) Diaz, I was not as much hungry. When I fought Hendricks, my training camp, I was even less hungry, and I felt like I needed to step out to get some time to see if I want to do this or not again.

"For now, I don't want to do it. I needed to step out and stay out of the radar. That's one of the things I said. I didn't know if it was going to be six months, a year, a year and a half, I don't know. But right now, I don't feel like coming back right now. It's not right for me."

If anything, because of St-Pierre's exit, opportunity is now the name of the game for the UFC's welterweight division, as there are no shortage of contenders already staking their claim to Hendricks' belt.

And of course, St-Pierre's choice for No. 1 contender should come as no surprise.

"Rory MacDonald," St-Pierre said, referencing his longtime friend and Tristar training partner who recently rebounded with a convincing win at UFC 170.

"If very happy for Rory. He did an amazing fight against Demian Maia and he proved he's the No. 1 contender."

MacDonald, along with UFC 171 victors Hector Lombard and Tyron Woodley, wasted little time stating their cases for a title shot in the wake of Hendricks' win. Even Nick Diaz, the ubiquitous fan favorite who may be the division's biggest pay-per-view draw, announced his intention to end his self-imposed retirement and chase the belt.

Though if Hendricks has his wish, above all else, he'd prefer a rematch against St-Pierre. And because of the magic of The MMA Hour, he even got his chance to personally request one at the end of St-Pierre's interview.

"Listen, stick around for a bit and keep the title," St-Pierre replied. "We'll see what's going to happen in the sport. If some things change, maybe we'll get together again."