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Georges St-Pierre: If I decide to return to the UFC, 'I believe I can still be on top'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Georges St-Pierre is still in a state of semi-retirement with no decision yet on a comeback. However, the former UFC welterweight champion believes that if he were to come back he could still be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

GSP told Chael Sonnen on his "You're Welcome" podcast this week that if he decides to make a return he would be very confident in returning to his previous form.

"I believe if I ever want to come back and fight I could be the best in mixed martial arts, if I find the fun and I have the feel for it again," St-Pierre said. "If I train hard and I have the pleasure to do it, I believe I can still be on top."

Sonnen asked St-Pierre whether he would be interested in competing in grappling events like Metamoris. GSP said he wasn't too sure about those, because of his competitive mindset. Although, he would leave the door open for potential grappling superfights.

"I like to compete to the highest level," he said. "If I do something, I do it because I want to be the best at it. I do not believe with my age and the time that I have left in my prime I could be the best in the grappling department."

St-Pierre, 33, has not fought since beating Johny Hendricks to retain the UFC welterweight title at UFC 167 on Nov 16, 2013. One month later, GSP announced that he would be stepping away from the sport with no return date given, citing personal issues.

"Rush" has continued training, though, and actually tore his ACL last year at his Tristar Gym in Montreal. St-Pierre was cleared to return to training earlier this year, and he has started up again, but not for competition. GSP said he has been helping out some of the other team members at Tristar and plans on assisting in Rory MacDonald's training camp coming up.

MacDonald challenges Robbie Lawler for the same welterweight title St-Pierre used to hold in the co-main event of UFC 189 on July 11 in Las Vegas.

"Lawler, he's a dangerous guy," St-Pierre said. "Anything can happen. I truly believe if Rory comes with his best game he's better than Lawler and better than Hendricks as well. But it's not the best fighter who wins the fight, it's the guy that will fight the best the night of the fight."

St-Pierre and MacDonald said they would never fight each other, so if MacDonald does become champion it would be interesting to see who GSP would fight if he does decide to come back.

"I believe he can be champion," St-Pierre said of MacDonald. "I'll be very happy if Rory can take the belt."

St-Pierre (25-2), who has not lost a fight since 2007, has stated that he will not return to the UFC until it bulks up its performance-enhancing drug policy. The promotion has made serious steps in that direction, announcing a more stringent program and hiring former BALCO investigator Jeff Novitzky to spearhead the initiative.

Still, UFC president Dana White said recently that he now believes St-Pierre will not come back, because he no longer has the hunger. GSP disagreed with that statement in an interview with the Winnipeg Sun last week.

"[He] says he's sure I won't come back, that's his opinion," St-Pierre told the paper. "I train, I keep myself in shape. I have marks on my body because my body bruises easily and I'm training hard.

"It doesn't mean I'm coming back, but it doesn't mean I'm not coming back. I'm thinking about it."