The UFC’s Welterweighit division is known today as one of the most exciting and competitive divisions in the entire sport. Throughout history, many fighters from this weight class have contributed to some of the most amazing moments in this sports history. It is rarely argued however that Georges St. Pierre is the greatest Welterweight that there’s ever been. The man known as “GSP” holds the record for the most wins in UFC, and the most title defenses in the divisions history. Across his historic UFC Welterweight championship run, he defended the 170 pound crown a grand total of nine times before infamously relinquishing the title at UFC 167 and retiring the UFC Welterweight champion back in 2013.
Three years later, the Welterweight division has taken on an entirely new form in St. Pierre’s absence. The championship has changed hands twice, with one of the title fights going on to become a unanimous Fight of the Year winner. But now, at age 35, it is seemingly the time for the man known as GSP to return. On Monday, appearing on the MMA Hour show hosted by Ariel Helwani, Georges St-Pierre announced his desire to return to the Octagon.
“Exactly. That’s what I’m saying,” St-Pierre, 35, said when asked point blank if he was announcing his return. “I’m ready. I’m an emotional guy. My agents, even before I came on the show today, they briefed me. They said, ‘don’t say this, don’t say that.’ They briefed me, they said, ‘we’re in negotiations, remember, blah, blah, blah.’ Like, yeah, yeah, yeah, don’t worry, I’m not a kid. But I’m an emotional guy, and when I get emotional sometimes, I say things that are necessarily in the best of my interests, and I’m trying to not go overboard with that. But the only thing is, I love my sport and I still feel I’m at my best right now. The clock is running. I’m not getting any younger. I’m in the peak of my career and if there is a shot, there is another goal, another run, I better do it and do it quick, because it is time to do it now.”
From 2007 to 2013, there was no many that could conceivably call himself St-Pierre’s equal inside the Octagon. Every few months since his semi-retirement reports here and there have teased that GSP may return. What makes this huge news is that St-Pierre himself is finally the one making the the claim that he shall return. And he has also laid out his gameplan for how he has prepared for his epic return.
“What I did is I did a training camp to see where I’m at,” St-Pierre said. “I’ve been training, but being in shape and being in fighting shape is something different. I did a training to push myself and go back to the highest level of competition. I didn’t fight, but I put myself through a training camp and I sparred and everything, and I did it successfully. Now I know for a fact that I could go back and fight, if my management and the UFC get to an agreement. I have a lot to lose in this, because I finished on top,” St-Pierre said. “I finished as champion, and that’s the way everybody would like to leave the sport on top, healthy, and wealthy — and I did it. If I go back and, it needs to be for something big. I think for my first fight, it needs to be for something big, and that’ll give me the swing and the momentum to do it again and again and again for another run. So it depends on what it going to happen, but I have a lot to lose, but the thing is also, the reason why I’ve been thinking of coming back, is I don’t want to end up at 80 years old and telling myself, ‘I should’ve done this, I should’ve done that.’ Because all of the things I regret in my life the most, it’s not the things that I have done. It’s the things that I have not done, the things that I regret the most. So I don’t want to end up where I’m too old and say, ‘aw, I should’ve done it. I was in great shape. My timing was impeccable, and I didn’t do it,’ so I would die with regret.”