The former welterweight champ and recently turned middleweight believes St-Pierre should’ve stayed retired and not be making a comeback to the UFC. St-Pierre announced his comeback to MMA last year and just earlier this month the long-time welterweight king officially signed a deal with the UFC after months of negotiations.
The comeback was not a surprise to many, as St-Pierre never fully retired and people such as his coaches Firas Zahabi and Freddie Roach remained optimistic of St-Pierre’s return even through his time off. But for Hendricks, the news of St-Pierre’s return was something a bit unexpected.
“You know what, I am [surprised],” Hendricks said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “I wish he would’ve stayed out, but a competitor is always going to be a competitor, so we’ll see how he comes back. And I heard he might be coming to 185.”
Hendricks is the last man to have fought St-Pierre professionally. The two met at UFC 167 back in 2013 where St-Pierre came out on top, defending his belt for a ninth consecutive time. However, the win wasn’t the the typical dominant St-Pierre performance, as Hendricks did significant damage on the champion and many thought that he had done enough to earn the decision victory.
Since their bout, St-Pierre sat on the sidelines, while Hendricks fought seven times in which he became champion, then suffered a three-fight skid, and most recently made a successful move to the middleweight division. The different ways in which both St-Pierre and Hendricks went about their careers following their fight at UFC 167 is what makes Hendricks skeptical on a successful return to fighting from St-Pierre.
“I went through my rough period, I did something, and I was able to bounce back, where whenever he [St-Pierre] went through his rough period, he got out, and now look at these guys,” Hendricks explained. “Yeah, you can train, yeah, you can do these things, but has he done enough to come back as a different fighter? Time changes, it always does. Just like I said, one day the time is going to change where I’m not going to be able to compete with these guys anymore, it’s just the way that it is.
“Once I showed how to defeat Georges St-Pierre, I think people are going to start using that game plan and it’s going to be so much harder on him. If you look at Chuck Liddell, you look at Randy Couture, these guys that didn’t stay out whenever they were on top, they came back and they weren’t the same fighters, you know. Three and a half years or two, whatever it is, is a long time for somebody to decrease or for everybody else to move up.”