This past Saturday at UFC 217, Georges St-Pierre etched his already legendary name even farther into the history books when he became only the fourth man to win belts in two different UFC weight classes. St-Pierre won the middleweight title from Michael Bisping with a third-round submission concluding an over year-long process of getting St-Pierre back in the octagon. But now that the former welterweight kingpin has returned to claim another belt, what remains for St-Pierre to do?
Not a lot, according to UFC commentator Kenny Florian. Speaking recently on his Anik & Florian podcast, Florian said that winning the middleweight title scratched the MMA itch for Georges St-Pierre, and now that he’s done it, GSP might just walk away from the sport once again.
“I think for Georges, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is his last fight. Does it get any better than this? What is he going to accomplish here that’s going to elevate his status that much more? Does he need to defeat the 205-pound champion, maybe fight Stipe Miocic? Those aren’t realistic things. Even going up to 186, everybody doubted him. ‘This is going to be too much. Michael Bisping has been more active, he’s a bigger guy.’ I don’t know if it gets better than this.
“I think there was something that Georges wanted to prove to himself. I really don’t think, as much as Georges wanted to get what he felt he deserved, but I don’t think it was necessarily about the money. This wasn’t a Georges St-Pierre saying ‘Man, my bank account is low. I really need to get some funds here.’ It wasn’t about that. Georges is fine on money. I think more than anything else, he had something he needed to prove to himself. Being away for four years, I felt like he finished his career on top and wanted to come back and show everybody that in these days where USADA is kind of overlooking the sport, I want to come back and show what I can really do. At 170 pounds, he has already done it all. He wanted to do something different at 185 pounds and challenge himself. He did that against a phenomenal champion in Michael Bisping and I think that this is probably his last fight.”
Much of the speculation surrounding St-Pierre’s return has centered around what would happen if he managed to win the middleweight title. Rumors have run rampant that GSP would fight any number of opponents such that St-Pierre had to affirm that if he won the title he would be contractually obligated to defend it against the No. 1 middleweight contender, in this case Robert Whittaker.
But a fight with Whittaker, while meritorious, lacks the panache needed to pique St-Pierre’s (now the de facto second-biggest star in the UFC) interest. According to Florian, GSP is now in the stage of his career where defending against challengers doesn’t do much to help build his final legacy. At this point, Florian posits, the only fight “big enough” to be worthy of St-Pierre, also happens to be one that lacks in-fight drama, a battle with the biggest star in the sport, Conor McGregor.
“Can he fight? Absolutely. He proved it. This is still a Georges St-Pierre who can do it all and do it all a very high level. He’s one of the best competitors I’ve seen in all of professional sports and if he wants to continue to fight, I think he can beat a Robert Whittaker. I think there’s a fight against Tyron Woodley if he wanted to.
“Obviously, there’s that Conor McGregor guy who might make things interesting but I know for Georges he doesn’t really want to go down in weight too much. He feels like he’s already done it all at 170 pounds and he did it in an age where the welterweight division was just ridiculous, and I think going down against 155 pounds, I don’t know if he really feels Conor McGregor is a challenge to be honest. Going against a much smaller guy and having the takedown skills that he has . . . He’s gone against a lot of other great strikers in his career, and I don’t think Conor McGregor is gonna be big enough or has the wrestling prowess to stop the takedowns of a Georges St-Pierre.”
St-Pierre’s endgame in returning to fighting has long been rumored to be chasing the biggest superfight in UFC history against McGregor. St-Pierre denies this and UFC President Dana White insists the middleweight champion will face Whittaker next. But with all the options available to him at this moment, St-Pierre is taking it easy and enjoying “the best night of my career.”
Best. Georges St-Pierre called UFC 217 the “best night of his career.”
Tap. Joanna Jedrzejczyk says she did not tap to strikes at UFC 217.
BJJ Scout on UFC 217.
Yoel Remix can gain new life.
Chael doubling down on saying Chuck has denied the fight.
TJ sticking to his plan.
The Co-Main Event. Discussing UFC 217 and GSP’s GOAT status.
Severe MMA. Discussing UFC 217, GOAT, and Poirier-Pettis.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Joanna taking the loss well.
Anderson feeling the love.
In my short career I've never received so many complimentive messages from reporters, commission, and fellow fighters following a fight.— Corey Anderson UFC (@CoreyA_MMA) November 6, 2017
Solid fight tonight @bisping . Name the time and place. Rockhold & Weidman don’t want to fight me!— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) November 5, 2017
@BorrachinhaMMA scared of you!? listen up. Do something other than beating 3 people you should beat. I️ will put you on your back & deflate— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) November 6, 2017
@BorrachinhaMMA your steroids can’t help you on your back. Beat a top 15 then a top 10 then holla at me. FYI I️ can’t stand you cheaters— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) November 6, 2017
It’s a damn good match up but you all can’t ignore Colbys wrestling.— Gerald Harris (@GHurricane) November 6, 2017
G please tell me you don't think that doodoo brown ass dude actually has a chance against me— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) November 6, 2017
Lol nope but I hate the fact that you are being overlooked. Knowing he’s gonna lose is reason to not book the fight.— Gerald Harris (@GHurricane) November 6, 2017
You already know how they do. I ain’t trippin tho I’m just gonna keep smashing these dudes until I get my shot.— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) November 6, 2017
Our sport is sad. I take honor in fighting guys I respect and earn it. We all want the same thing. But to stoop to this level of charades— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) November 6, 2017
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
That’s all for today folks. Take it easy and Conor bless.
Is GSP the GOAT?
This poll is closed
If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.