UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley defends his title against Demian Maia this weekend at UFC 214, and if he is successful, Dana White has suggested that former champion Georges St Pierre could be open to challenging for the belt.
St-Pierre was initially set to face middleweight champion Michael Bisping in his return. However, the all-time great was not willing to make his comeback in July, the preferred option of the UFC, and his wishes to meet the Englishman in October fell on deaf ears.
The Tristar fighter cited an eye injury as the reason that he could not contest the middleweight title fight in July, and since then White has insisted that GSP will now challenge for the welterweight belt in his return.
During his appearance on the latest edition of The MMA Hour, Woodley completely dismissed his chances of facing St Pierre.
“I’ve been told me and Demian Maia are fighting this weekend,” said Woodley, when asked about a potential meeting with St-Pierre.
“I don’t even want to talk about GSP because GSP is playing everybody.
“I don’t know if he really wants to fight. I don’t know if he really wants to fight me or if he wants to fight Bisping.”
According to Woodley, the fear of a concussion was one of the driving forces behind St-Pierre taking a leave of absence from the sport. Based on that information, Woodley thinks he would be the last person that the returning former champion would want to be pitted against.
“To be flat out honest, I don’t think he wants to fight me,” he told Ariel Helwani.
“I think he wants to fight someone like Stephen Thompson. (GSP will) think, ‘(Thompson) is someone I’ve trained with, he’s not going to hit me with a concussion.’
“Think about why (GSP) left the sport. He said he had some personal issues. He also spoke about the rampant usage of PEDs in the sport, and also, concussions.
“Not Demian Maia, most likely not Michael Bisping. Bisping is known for enduring damage, being resilient and always pushing forward.
“Most likely not ‘Wonderboy’, because Georges came from a sport karate background. He’s trained with Stephen Thompson.
“I think if ‘Wonderboy’ had beat me, (GSP) would have fought him. If Demian Maia comes out on top this weekend, I think he’ll fight him.
“I just don’t think that he wants to come in after three years and face a guy like me who is completely determined not to lose his belt.”