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Georges St-Pierre reveals eye injury delays return to UFC

Georges St-Pierre talks to media Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Since his fight against Michael Bisping was announced in March, Georges St-Pierre has maintained that he would not be able to return to action until the end of the year.

And despite the UFC's repeated attempts to get him to fight Michael Bisping in July, St-Pierre's timeline has not budged.

The question no one could or would answer, though, is why? Why did St-Pierre need seven to eight months to prepare for Bisping?

Well, Friday, at the C2 Montréal conference, the former UFC welterweight champion revealed that an injury suffered earlier this year has sidelined him.

"Trust me, I'm not the kind of guy who thinks, 'Hey, I'm going to make everybody wait for me. I don't want to fight during the summer, I want to take my time ...'

"That's not the reason. If it were up to me, I would come back. The reason is I had a problem with my eye. I had an injury."

"My vision has not been back yet. It will be back. It's something very minor. The doctor insisted for me that I don't spar until September."

While the 36-year-old St-Pierre did not go into details about the injury, he did say that the UFC knew about it when he signed a new contract in February.

"The UFC was aware of it,” St-Pierre told interviewer Justin Kingsley. “They knew I couldn't fight during the summer, but they still insisted on doing that press conference with Michael Bisping. And when it happened, we were not very excited about the idea, but we wanted that fight, so we decided to do it, but then it turned into a negative thing because it took so long.

"But UFC knew. Everyone knew. The people concerned knew that that was the case, but they still tried to put pressure on me to fight in July. That's the reason why I'm coming out public today about the reason why I'm not fighting this summer."

Shortly after his win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in late 2013, then-welterweight champion St-Pierre left the sport riding a 12-fight winning streak. In addition to being considered the greatest welterweight champion of all time, the Québec-native is also widely-regarded as one of the best fighters in the history of MMA. His return was viewed as a much-needed shot in the arm for the UFC, but the uncertainty surrounding when he’d be able to fight left many fans — not to mention middleweight fighters — frustrated.

"I always said that if I was coming back to fight, it needed to be a fight that excites me. I wanted to fight Michael Bisping because I wanted to fight someone that could elevate me. Michael Bisping is the champion now, and I think that he could elevate me as much as I could elevate him. I'm taking a huge risk coming back. I'm putting my legacy on the line."

Bisping is currently nursing an injured knee, so earlier this week, the UFC booked an interim middleweight title fight between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker. And while UFC president Dana White threatened to scrap the proposed Bisping-St-Pierre title fight, both fighters are still hopeful it will take place later this year once they recover from their respective injuries.

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