36-Year-Old UFC Welterweight 25-2-0
May 30, 2017 Georges St-Pierre News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
St-Pierre is still recovering from an eye injury affecting his vision, Shaun Al-Shatti of MMAFighting.com reports.
St-Pierre was clear that his next fight, revealed last March as a championship bout against Michael Bisping (knee), wouldn't be happening until late 2017. GSP also mentioned that he had surgery to correct this issue, and that there is a minimum time he needs to wait before he can begin training. Currently, he's targeting November as the earliest possible date for his return. This actually works out well for Bisping, who is dealing with a knee injury and has roughly the same timetable. In the meantime, Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker will take the Octagon at UFC 213 to compete for the UFC's Interim Middleweight Championship.
Georges St-Pierre: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Fantasy AnalysisSt-Pierre's comeback was made official recently, and although there has been much speculation about his return opponent (and weight class), GSP will ultimately get a title shot right out of the gates. He'll need to wait until Bisping is recovered from knee surgery to put his 12-fight winning streak on the line, so expect the fight to land at some point in late-2017. St-Pierre's biggest strength has always been his wrestling, as he's recorded more takedowns than his opponent (or tied) in all but one of his professional fights. The biggest question mark here will be ring rust, and although some fighters will claim it doesn't exist, GSP hasn't fought since Nov. 2013, so it could very well be a factor.
Fantasy AnalysisSt-Pierre and the UFC ended their relationship on rocky terms, as GSP vacated his title and abruptly walked away from the sport in 2013 following a controversial, split-decision victory over Johny Hendricks. One of the reasons St-Pierre cited was dissatisfaction with the promotion's policing of anti-doping policies, but that concern should now be in the past due to the implementation of USADA and their stricter testing methods. St-Pierre is still just 35 years old, so the Tristar product could reasonably contend for a championship in his return trip. Who he will fight remains speculative at this point, however. He fought primarily at welterweight during his historic run, and although he'd be best-suited for welterweight or lightweight, talks of a middleweight championship fight between he and Michael Bisping have been ongoing for quite some time. At the very least, he'll inject the promotion's new management with some much-needed starpower.
Fantasy AnalysisThis appears to be a good old fashioned public relations battle between the UFC and St-Pierre. Although, the 35-year-old hasn't actually fought since 2013, and even if he is still technically under contract with UFC, there's no guarantee that he'll be awarded a fight during the remainder of the contract.
Fantasy AnalysisSt-Pierre hasn't fought since 2013 in the UFC and was able to terminate his contract after the promotion failed to schedule him a fight prior to a set deadline. He grew frustrated after the news WME-IMG ownership that took over in July pulled the newly-proposed deal off the table. He will now be able to sign with other promotions.
Fantasy AnalysisIn most cases, a fighter needs to notify USADA of their intent to compete in writing, as well as make themselves available for testing, at least four months prior to their first bout. Famously, Brock Lesnar received an exemption to this standard, and UFC fans all know how that turned out. St-Pierre has always been very outspoken against the use of any PEDs, and he believes that in order to maintain his reputation as a clean fighter, he needs to play by the same rules as everyone else. As a result, the former welterweight champion plans to begin the process Aug. 10. That timeline would not put him in place to compete at a November event at the Madison Square Garden in New York, but early-2017 would still be an option if his management team is able to negotiate a deal with UFC brass.
Fantasy AnalysisSt-Pierre has been training for this moment since late-2015, but finally made the announcement official Monday afternoon. The former welterweight champion has yet to get booked for an official fight, as his management team is currently in the process of negotiating the details of his return with UFC brass. St-Pierre has been out of action for nearly three years, but due to an early "retirement," the Tristar Gym product shouldn't be too far past his prime, as he only turned 35 last May. One potential option for a return fight could be new middleweight champion Michael Bisping, but it's uncertain if St-Pierre will be immediately ready to compete at the highest level upon his return, or if the UFC will look to schedule a tune-up fight first in an effort to shake off the rust. GSP vs. Bisping would surely be a huge hit with UFC fans.
Fantasy AnalysisSt.-Pierre has entertained the idea of a return to the octagon for some time now, but took a step closer when his longtime boxing coach Freddie Roach disclosed his plans to begin a fight camp. The former welterweight champion took what he referred to as an extended hiatus at the end of 2013, and a torn ACL the next spring further derailed his comeback. St.-Pierre continues to train casually at Tristar Gym in Montreal, and at 34 years old, he would be far from the oldest fighter in the UFC. If he's still in it, both physically and mentally, one of the UFC's all-time greats could look to put his 12-fight win streak on the line in mid-to-late 2016.