With the Ultimate Fighting Championship desperately in need of star power, it appears that Georges St. Pierre’s Octagon return could occur at some point in 2017.
According to a report from MMAFighting.com on Wednesday, St. Pierre and the UFC have come to terms on a new contract. While the deal is not yet finalized, the former welterweight champion is expected to fight sometime in the third quarter of 2017.
St. Pierre first expressed interest in a UFC return last summer, but negotiations between the fighter and the Las Vegas-based promotion stalled in the ensuing months. A rumored comeback at UFC 206 in Toronto did not come to fruition, and St. Pierre eventually declared himself a free agent, claiming that his lawyer had terminated his existing contract.
The 35-year-old Canadian also helped spearhead the launch of the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association late in 2016 in hopes of securing better treatment for past and present UFC fighters.
St. Pierre hasn’t competed in the Octagon since taking a hard-fought split decision against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in November 2013. Not long after that bout, “Rush” vacated the welterweight title and announced that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence.
It is currently unclear in which weight class St. Pierre will compete, although he did express an interest in fighting current middleweight champion Michael Bisping last summer. The UFC has yet to make an official announcement regarding any type of deal with St. Pierre.