There's no official word regarding whether former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre will return to the Octagon after being away from MMA more than two years. 'GSP', now 34, left the sport after defeating Johny Hendricks via split decision at UFC 167 in November of 2013.
But in recent interviews, St-Pierre has hinted at a comeback. More than that, though, he's suggested he could have been back sooner to the Octagon had UFC brass not treated him poorly following his UFC 167 victory.
Now the UFC is getting their side of the story out. On Thursday, UFC President Dana White spoke to Michael Landsberg on his show 'Off The Record' about a range of topics. When the discussion moved to St-Pierre, White offered praise of the former Canadian champ, but argued St-Pierre's time in the sport had essentially passed.
"Listen, I like Georges St-Pierre. I respect him. He was never anything but class when he fought for us. He was an absolute class act. He took Canada to a whole other level with the sport and everything else, but he can talk about why he isn't here, why he isn't doing this and maybe he'll take six weeks; Georges St-Pierre lost the urge to fight and that's the reality," White claimed.
"He lost the urge to fight and it happens," he continued. "There's nothing wrong with that. It's nothing negative. It wasn't because of anything that happened with me or with Lorenzo [Fertitta] or anything with the sport. He lost the urge to fight, period. End of story."
For his part, St-Pierre essentially denies this claim, telling Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting he isn't necessarily set to return, but that doesn't mean he's entirely disinterested either.
"There are different ways of being hungry," GSP noted. "I still can be hungry, you can be more hungry than people who have nothing. I have so much to lose, because of my pride, the pride is my most important strength, I'm a very proud person, and I would never go back and make a fool of myself be humiliated, because I'm a very proud guy. I have so much to lose, that's what's going to makes me hungry, and be willing to do better than anyone, there's different ways to be hungry."
As for White, when pressed by Landsberg how he was certain St-Pierre no longer had the requisite interest to compete in the Octagon, he pointed to his years of experience in working with athletes both as a manager and promoter.
"I've been dealing with athletes since I was 19 years old and I saw it in his face after the Johny Hendricks fight," White insisted. "We went backstage and we talked. When you're in Vegas, I'll hook you up with Lorenzo. I looked at Lorenzo last night and I said, 'GSP's done'. He said, 'What? You're crazy.' I said, 'He's done.'"