When Georges St-Pierre announced he would be returning to the UFC to challenge for Michael Bisping’s middleweight title after a four-year hiatus, many believed it was a purely St-Pierre looking to take advantage of a golden opportunity: A calculated move by the former welterweight champion to win a second title and a pile of money before leaving the sport again shortly afterwards, this time for good.
St-Pierre denied these claims fervently and maintained that should he win the belt, he was contractually obligated to defend it against interim champion Robert Whittaker. St-Pierre did go on to win the title but he vacated it just weeks after, as a result of a medical issue that would keep him from defending his belt in a timely fashion. In the end, Whittaker was promoted to undisputed champion and St-Pierre returned to the MMA ether, with many believing him gone for good this time.
Putting a headstone on his career might be premature though. Speaking with Fight Hub TV recently, St-Pierre’s head coach, Firas Zahabi, said that his protege is “doing great” and that, while he hasn’t asked St-Pierre about a timetable for return, he believes GSP isn’t done with fighting yet.
“[Georges is] fantastic” said Zahabi. “He’s doing great.
“I honestly don’t bother him about [when he will fight again] because I know everybody is always asking him about it, 24 hours a day. When I see him, I don’t talk about the next fight. We don’t talk about it. We know each other. I know what he’s thinking, he’s knows what I’m thinking and we leave it at that.
“I think, personally, that he’s going to fight again. He doesn’t know. Nobody knows but I think that he’s just so hyper-competitive that eventually he’s gonna wake up one day and be like, ‘I need a challenge.’ I just think that’s the person he is. That’s how I see him but we’ll have to wait and see.”
St-Pierre is widely considered to be one of the greatest fighters of all time as well as one of the biggest stars in the history of the sport. But though St-Pierre was the biggest draw in MMA for some time, his peak fighting years came before the recent surge in lucrative superfights that garner fan interest and bigger paydays. Part of St-Pierre’s interest in returning to MMA in the first place for “interesting, epic fights” and his team had previously mentioned targeting bouts with Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather as possible options for GSP after the Bisping bout.
The idea of a superfight with McGregor particularly took hold with the MMA fans and many suggested that St-Pierre was vacating the middleweight title so he could pursue a fight with the current lightweight champion later this year. Zahabi says that isn’t likely, not because of McGregor but because he thinks St-Pierre will be take a good amount of time off before coming back this time.
“I have no idea [how long he’ll be out].” said Zahabi. “I think he’s out for at least a year or two. I don’t know. We all love Georges but he’s put in so many years, he’s put in so many bouts, I don’t think it’s fair to ask him for more.”
St-Pierre is one of the most decorated fighters in UFC history and only the fourth man to win belts in two weight classes. His fight with Bisping at UFC 217 did an estimated 875,000 pay-per-view buys. It’s safe to say that whenever he’s ready to return, the UFC will be more than happy to have him.
Title. Douglas Lima says he “gave away” the win against Rory MacDonald.
Vacation. Francis Ngannou is “taking some time off” after loss to Stipe Miocic.
Visa. Mairbek Taisumov believes U.S. visa process has held his career back.
USADA. Michal Oleksiejczuk fails USADA drug test, facing anti-doping suspension.
Spear. Bobby Lashley spears ATT owner through a table in pro-wrestling show.
So it’s guaranteed, right?
Bader talks Fedor.
Jason Nawara has been putting on EA UFC 3 tournaments with Jens Pulver on commentary. Worth checking out.
This dude fights this weekend.
Frankie Edgar interview.
The MMA Beat. The full panel discussing all the big MMA topics of today.
Middle Easy. Discussing UFC 220 and random, non-MMA things.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Not been confirmed at all that Bellator has released him but definitely seems like trouble waiting to happen.
“They’re only your friend, until they’re not your friend” I have politely asked for my RELEASE from BELLATOR MMA, which...Posted by Paul Semtex Daley on Thursday, January 25, 2018
Bisping might have made up his mind?
I’m all for big fights/ matchups... but come on already @TJDillashaw need to take care of his own business @ stake @ bantamweight .— Raphael Assuncao (@RaphaAssuncao) January 25, 2018
Hey @criscyborg i'm moving to 145 division, u better watch out now @danawhite @Mickmaynard2 @ufc @JacksonWinkMMA— Yana Kunitskaya (@YanaKunitskaya1) January 25, 2018
Hamill getting denied a fight because of age?
It has come to my attention that PA commissioner Greg Sirb won't let me fight on Feb 17th due to my age. I can fight in...Posted by Matt Hamill on Tuesday, January 23, 2018
DJ is slowly but surely building a brand completely without the UFC’s assistance.
Thank you @BandaiNamcoUS for letting us game out for the day!! Good matches with @XavierWoodsPhD @MightyMouseUFC and @Rhymestyle pic.twitter.com/peGDypfxtD— Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouseUFC) January 26, 2018
Mightyman! pic.twitter.com/YO2IKuBKxD— Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouseUFC) January 25, 2018
This is an idea.
I should commentate for @InvictaFights I know a little bit about fighting.— phil baroni (@philbaroni) January 25, 2018
Liam McGeary (12-2) vs. Vadim Nemkov (8-2); Bellator 194, Feb. 16.
Joe Lauzon (27-14) vs. Chris Gruetzemacher (13-3); UFC 223, April 7.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2013: Demetrious Johnson faced the biggest test of his title reign, winning a thrilling fight with John Dodson at UFC on FOX 6 that saw Dodson hurt Johnson multiple times in the early goings.
Fight weekend is upon us! Tonight we’ve got a Bellator card that isn’t stellar but has some decent fights on it, and tomorrow we’ve got UFC Charlotte, a card low on name value but high on competitive fights. I’ll be on the ground reporting on the event for MMA Fighting so be sure to keep it locked here for coverage all weekend.
Enjoy the fights and see y’all Monday.
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