Georges St. Pierre’s future isn’t clear.
After winning a tough split decision over Johny Hendricks on Nov. 16 at UFC 167, the welterweight champion alluded to needing a break from the sport. Trainer Firas Zahabi says St. Pierre’s motivation to keep fighting wasn’t something they discussed before the bout, and it’s not something they’ve discussed yet post-fight either.
“During the training camp, we don’t really talk about those kind of things,” Zahabi told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show on Friday. “Now that he’s finished the fight, it’s the last thing I want to talk to him about. What I want him to do now is get his mind at ease, go on vacation, enjoy himself, let his mind settle. I don’t think I can get a real answer from him until after his mind has settled. Things are just too fresh right now. During training camp, believe me, we don’t talk about things like that. It’s all about Johny Hendricks. It’s all about what you have to do to win. There’s no time for any distracting talk. So I still don’t know. I’m waiting for him to come back, and when he comes back, we’ll go to dinner. We’ll talk and we’ll see how he feels.”
Zahabi acknowledged that it’s possible St. Pierre could come back from a vacation and decide he doesn’t want to fight anymore. Dana White, however, has gone so far as to say St. Pierre owes it to the UFC to return. The UFC president has said a rematch between St. Pierre and Hendricks will happen.
“Whatever [St. Pierre] does, I’m going to back him up, but I know he has a lot of respect for the UFC,” Zahabi said. “So do I. We don’t want to do anything that’s bad for the company. The company’s taken care of us, the whole team, for so many years. It’s a win-win relationship. I think it should stay that way, but at the end of the day, can you tell a guy, ‘Hey, you’ve got to go back in’? Can you really do that to a fighter? I don’t know. It’s not my place to make that decision, but definitely I know Georges loves the UFC. He has a tremendous amount of respect for the UFC and he doesn’t want to let the UFC down, nor the fans, but on the other hand, he has the most minutes in the Octagon. If he owes the UFC, everybody owes the UFC because nobody’s punched in more minutes than him.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 26:42).