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Georges St-Pierre’s comeback goals? ‘Cement my legacy as the best of all-time’

Gallery Photo: UFC 143 Workout Photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Georges St-Pierre may be challenging for the UFC middleweight title for his long-awaited Octagon return, but if all goes well against Michael Bisping, the former welterweight great intends to keep his options open about what could come next.

“I walk around at 185, 190 pounds. I’m going to fight at 185 right now,” St-Pierre said recently on The MMA Hour. “I even know some guys who fight at 155 (who) walk around in the offseason at a bigger weight than I am. I can possibly fight in those three divisions. But I’m back for one reason, I want to make history. I’m going to be 36 years old when I’m going to fight, and it’s all going to depend on what’s going to happen and how it’s going to happen.

“I have no desire to fight until I’m 40-something years old. These are my last fight few that I’m going to do, and I want to pick them very carefully. And when I say carefully, I [mean] that I want to make the biggest fights possible. The fights that are going to cement my legacy as the best of all-time. And that’s what I want to do, I want to make history. And maybe I’m going to fail, but at least if I fail, I’m going to have no regrets when I’m going to be 50 years old.”

St-Pierre, 35, is already widely considered to be one of the greatest fighters to ever compete in mixed martial arts. A record-breaking two-time UFC welterweight champion, St-Pierre reigned over the 170-pound division with an iron hand from 2007 until 2013, defending his title nine consecutive times before vacating the belt and stepping away from the sport of his own volition.

Despite his early exit, St-Pierre’s name is commonly thrown around in conversations about the single greatest MMA fighter of all-time — often amongst celebrated figures like Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, and Fedor Emelianenko — however “Rush” hopes to end that debate for good with what he is able to accomplish in his final chapter, even if he can’t say for sure which opponents will get him to that spot.

“I’ve made a lot of scenarios in my mind, but what I’ve learned in the past is, I used to overthink stuff,” St-Pierre said. “That was one of my problems when I was fighting. I even had problems to pull the trigger sometimes because I was overthinking stuff. When you overthink stuff, it never happens the way you want. So it depends on what’s going to happen. What will be the next big thing for me? Who will be the man to beat?

“Who will be the man that, if I beat (him), it will cement my legacy to be the best of all-time? Who will it be, the man that will have the highest stock? What will be my next move to do something that would not be seen before? That’s going to depend. So we don’t know. We can have an idea or speculate, but we don’t know.”

St-Pierre said it was because of those reasons that he was unable to reveal his future plans fully during his introductory press conference with Bisping ahead of UFC 209. Mixed martial arts is a volatile game, and St-Pierre simply doesn’t know how the landscape will look at lightweight, welterweight, and middleweight by the time he and Bisping fight in the second half of 2017.

And although St-Pierre stopped short of saying another shot at the UFC welterweight belt could interest him after Bisping, he did seem to indicate that one name among the 170-pound ranks could coax him back for another title run.

“There’s a guy in the welterweight division I see, to me, that if I have to make a prediction, I believe he will be the champion,” St-Pierre said. “I don’t like to see past things, but I think as he is right now, Demian Maia is very, very skilled.

“I see him as a very big threat right now for the title. I think he’s going to win over (Jorge) Masvidal, and I think he’s going to win over (Tyron) Woodley if he fights him. He’s older and he’s in his prime right now. I think he reached his perfect timing between physical, mental, and his game. I think he’s just so good at what he does. He’s like a blade of a katana. I think his blade is very sharp, it’s perfectly polished. He’s going to be very hard to stop right now.”

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