Georges St-Pierre said last month on The MMA Hour that he was "ready" to return to the UFC. It was only a matter of negotiating a deal for a fight. At that time, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that GSP, one of the best of all time, would be back in the Octagon, maybe as early as this year.
"Georges St-Pierre will not fight again," White said. "I've said that before and I'll say it again. Georges St-Pierre is done. He is retired. He will not fight again."
None of GSP's comments about coming back made White feel any differently.
"He doesn't have to tell me that," White said. "I've dealt with him. We've been dealing with this thing. I've been in this since I was 19 years old. I know the mentality of a fighter that wants to fight and I know the mentality of a fighter that does not want to fight."
St-Pierre, 34, stepped away from the UFC in December 2013, citing personal reasons. He vacated his welterweight title in the process. The Montreal area native is one of the very best of all time, in terms of drawing power and résumé. He had nine title defenses, one off Anderson Silva's record of 10, before going on hiatus.
GSP never used the word retire while he was away. Not once. He always left the door open and now seems to be walking through it. Earlier this year, St-Pierre said he would do a test training camp to see how he felt, mentally and physically. He did that and came out unscathed. St-Pierre said he wants to come back.
"I'm ready," St-Pierre said. "I'm an emotional guy. My agents, even before I came on the show today, they briefed me. They said, ‘don't say this, don't say that.' They briefed me, they said, ‘we're in negotiations, remember, blah, blah, blah.' Like, yeah, yeah, yeah, don't worry, I'm not a kid. But I'm an emotional guy, and when I get emotional sometimes, I say things that are necessarily in the best of my interests, and I'm trying to not go overboard with that.
"But the only thing is, I love my sport and I still feel I'm at my best right now. The clock is running. I'm not getting any younger. I'm in the peak of my career and if 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."
That surely seems to denote a real St-Pierre comeback. But White cannot help put to poo-poo it. The UFC boss truly thinks it won't happen.
"He's been saying that for a long time." White said. "I wholeheartedly believe you'll never see Georges St-Pierre in the Octagon again unless he's cornering somebody."
UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta does differ with White, though, he told the Los Angeles Times earlier in the week.
"That's the one thing we disagree on," Fertitta said. "Dana's been right so far, but we've been in active discussions with [St-Pierre's] management for a long time. We'd love to have him back, he'd make a great impact."