Over two months have passed since Georges St-Pierre announced his desire to return to the UFC, yet still the welterweight legend not only remains without a fight booked, but UFC president Dana White also continues to insist that St-Pierre doesn't actually have the desire to fight at all. And according to St-Pierre, White's claims are far from the truth.
"I want to come back. They know the terms that I want, and trust me, I'm very reasonable. So it's up to them," St-Pierre said Wednesday on UFC Tonight. "We tried. My agent tried to reach them and they're hard to reach, but I guess they're going to come back soon. Hopefully, we'll see."
When asked to elaborate on the terms that have held up his return, St-Pierre pointed to the UFC contract he last fought on in late-2013. St-Pierre defended his welterweight title against Johny Hendricks in that final fight before vacating his long-held championship belt, however the UFC was in a far different place back then, before the Reebok partnership effectively nuked the sponsorship landscape.
"If you see it from my perspective, I'm making a lot of money now even though I'm not fighting. And my contract is old," St-Pierre said. "My contract was made before the Reebok deal, and when we asked, basically, it's now because if I go back and fight I cannot advertise my sponsors, so I'm losing money if I go back to fight on the old terms of my contract. So, it's reasonable. I'm just waiting to so what's going to happen."
St-Pierre also responded directly to White, who over the past few months has reiterated in numerous interviews that St-Pierre no longer has the drive to be a championship fighter, and thus shouldn't come back and fight.
"He doesn't know anything about me," St-Pierre said. "I'm a smart guy. I'm not the kind of guy you're going to say that (about), and okay I'm going to sign right here, I'm going to fight for peanuts. No, I'm a smart person. It doesn't work, these things on me. But I'm going to tell him something, to Dana, let me fight once and you'll see in the first minute of the fight that what you just said is wrong.
"Let me fight Tyrone Woodley, then we'll see if I want to be world champion again. I understand what he means, and I'm not angry at Dana. He does what he does for the best of his interests. I do what I do for the best of my interests. One day when all of that is going to be over, we'll probably be friends, like most of the guys who I've fought. But now, it's like a game. He's doing his game, I'm doing mine."
At age 35, with the benefit of over two years worth of rest on his body, St-Pierre said he is confident that the present day version of himself is a much improved fighter compared to the one who left the UFC on top in 2013, having defended his welterweight title a record nine consecutive times. St-Pierre also targeted three opponents who would interest him for his return, saying that Nick Diaz, Demian Maia, and current UFC champion Woodley would all be opponents who would force him to "elevate" his game to the highest level.
As for a return date, St-Pierre focused his sights squarely on UFC 206, which takes place Dec. 10 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. The pay-per-view lines up directly with the first day St-Pierre is cleared to compete following the four-month testing window required by USADA for returning fighters.
"I don't think it's a coincidence that it's in Toronto," St-Pierre said. "Who would be a better man than myself to headline a card in Toronto, to fill up the Air Canada (Centre) and get back the Canadian fans, raise the pay-per-view up because now Rory (MacDonald) is going to Bellator? I'm the man for the job."