If and when Georges St. Pierre makes his return to the UFC, it won’t be a one-time thing.
The former welterweight champion told UFC Tonight on Wednesday that he plans on making an extended run in the Las Vegas-based promotion. The possibility of a St. Pierre comeback became rooted in reality earlier this summer when the Tristar Gym representative acknowledged that he was in negotiations with the UFC.
It appears the only obstacle standing between St. Pierre and the Octagon is the ability to reach an agreement with the organization he called home for nearly a decade.
“I want to come back,” St. Pierre said. “They know the terms I want. Trust me, I’m very reasonable so it’s up to them. We tried. My agent tried to reach them and they're hard to reach, but I guess they're going to come back soon. Hopefully, we'll see."
Not surprisingly, St. Pierre confirmed that he would lose money if he returned under the parameters of his old UFC deal, mainly because of lost sponsors due to the Reebok outfitting policy.
"If you see it from my perspective, I'm making a lot of money now even though I'm not fighting, and my contract is old," St. Pierre said. "My contract was made before the Reebok deal, and when we asked, basically, it's now because if I go back and fight I cannot advertise my sponsors, so I'm losing money if I go back to fight on the old terms of my contract. So, it's reasonable. I'm just waiting to so what's going to happen."
Recently, UFC President Dana White reiterated previous doubts regarding the sincerity of St. Pierre’s claim.
“Georges St. Pierre doesn’t have that ‘I want to be a world champion’ attitude anymore,” White said during a recent appearance on “The Herd.” “He doesn’t have that drive and that desire that he once had. And if you don’t have that, no you shouldn’t fight.”
GSP last competed at UFC 167 in November 2013, when he captured a split verdict over Johny Hendricks in the evening’s main event to retain the 170-pound strap. A few weeks later, St. Pierre announced that he would vacate his title and take an indefinite leave of absence from the sport. St. Pierre exited the promotion on a 12-fight winning streak and is regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in MMA history.
"He doesn't know anything about me," St. Pierre said in response to White's comments. "I'm a smart guy. I'm not the kind of guy you're going to say that [about], and OK I'm going to sign right here, I'm going to fight for peanuts. No, I'm a smart person. It doesn't work, these things on me. But I'm going to tell him something, to Dana, let me fight once and you'll see in the first minute of the fight that what you just said is wrong."
Should St. Pierre and the UFC come to terms, the Montreal native already has his sights set on a trio of prospective opponents: current welterweight king Tyron Woodley, top contender Demian Maia and former foe Nick Diaz.
“These guys can elevate me,” he said.
St. Pierre set the wheels in motion for a return by re-entering the USADA drug-testing pool in August. Based on the four-month notice required by the organization, “Rush” would not be eligible to compete until December, and he admitted that UFC 206 in Toronto would make an ideal landing spot. Regardless of how it all plays out, the ex-champ is confident that he has improved during his three-year layoff.
“I needed some time out of the spotlight. In training I know that I’m a much better version than I was before,” he said.