From the moment Georges St-Pierre announced that he would be returning to competition at 185 pounds, there were questions about how long he would stay there.
“GSP” recently came back from a four-year hiatus and defeated Michael Bisping at UFC 217 to capture the middleweight championship, and he repeatedly stated that his contract dictate that he defend the title against interim champion Robert Whittaker.
However, on Wednesday, St-Pierre told TSN that he is having serious doubts about returning to his new division.
“We’ll talk about it, but I’m not sure if I compete I will go back at 185,” St-Pierre said. “I don’t think so.”
St-Pierre has spent almost the entirety of his 28-fight career competing at 170 pounds, the weight class where he twice captured UFC gold (plus one interim belt) and recorded nine consecutive successful title defenses before stepping away from MMA in November 2013. The UFC 217 main event marked the first time that St-Pierre fought at 185 pounds.
“Of course, in terms of weight, if I want to go back to compete at 185, I will - obviously eating, like I did what I did, I learned from my mistakes, I don’t think it’s a good thing to do, force myself to eat to gain muscle mass,” St-Pierre said. “I’ve always been against performance-enhancing drugs, and I did it the natural way. There is no easy way. I did it the hard way and it was to gain weight and to maintain my muscles mass and it was very hard and it was not healthy. I think the body has a natural weight it can perform at its best athletic ability and for me, the weight that I am now is my perfect weight.”
According to St-Pierre, the colitis symptoms actually arose one month prior to his battle with Bisping at Madison Square Garden, but the 36-year-old and his team made the decision to fight through it and deal with any problems later. The situation only worsened afterwards, and that’s when St-Pierre knew he had to get checked out.
“After the fight, I thought first it was the stress that caused it and it would go away, but it did not go away,” St-Pierre said. “So what happened is even after the fight it persisted and I knew something was wrong so I let a few days pass by and after that I went to see a specialist. And I’ve been diagnosed with colitis, ulcer colitis, but now I have the medication and since I started medication it goes very well. So I’m almost 100-percent now.
“I feel much better now than before and also it’s a lot less blood so it’s good. It was a more scary and stressful situation for me than the actual reality. There’s different levels of colitis, I don’t think mine is very severe. Some people are stuck in a situation where it’s more severe and it can affect their well-being much more, but mine is not that bad.”
As a result of St-Pierre's illness, preliminary talks are currently underway to book Whittaker vs. Luke Rockhold for UFC 221 on Feb. 10 in Perth, Western Australia, MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani has learned. The fight isn't signed just yet, but it is currently moving in the right direction. It's unclear at this time whether the fight would be for Whittaker's interim middleweight title or the official title.
Rockhold has questioned the legitimacy of St-Pierre’s colitis diagnosis, implying that he is trying to avoid taking on a middleweight contender, and St-Pierre is amused by the accusation.
“It’s not a fake diagnosis, I have the paper of the doctor and everything to prove it,” St-Pierre said. “My health is the number one priority and performance is second. … Luke Rockhold, he can hang there, he’s gonna have his shot, no problem. When you’re on top, everybody want to have what you got and it’s not new for me, I’m used to that kind of stuff, I don’t take it personal. I’ve talked Luke, he’s a good guy. He’s just a hungry guy and he wants to be champion again and I wish him the best.”
See the full TSN interview below: