One of the biggest stars of the UFC is slated for a sensational return to the octagon in 2016. Former 170-pound king, Georges St-Pierre, was largely seen by many as one of (if not the) greatest MMA fighter to enter the promotion. With a professional record of 25 wins and 2 defeats, GSP was on a 12 fight streak before he left the promotion. His last fight was in November 2013 against Johny Hendricks, winning in a split decision.
Now Tristar Gym head coach Firas Zahabi has commented on a possible return for the UFC legend, and it's got the attention of the MMA world...
Speaking with Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Zahabi reckoned the Canadian just wont be able to stay away from the octagon.
"I personally think, if you ask me my own personal opinion, I think he cannot stay away," Zahabi said. "I think he’ll eventually get bit by the bug and he’ll eventually do something spontaneous. That’s just Georges."
When Ariel Helwani forced his hand, Zahabi made a lot of UFC/MMA fans around the world extremely happy.
Although not confirming a definite comeback, Zahabi made sure to let the fans know that GSP is most definitely still in shape and motivated.
"I would say yes [GSP will return in 2016], if I had to venture," Zahabi said. "Keep my comments in context. If I had to venture, I would say yeah, he comes back in 2016. Again, it’s no guarantee. I’m not confirming that...I think he’s a motivated guy, I think he’s in shape, I think for him it’s just the fight that excites him. That’s all that he needs."
Naturally, conversation turned towards who would be the man standing opposite the former welterweight champion. Although GSP is still training and seemingly still the full article, Zahabi suggest that it'll take a special fight to excite him enough to return to the UFC.
Since his departure, the UFC has grown in every aspect possible. With massive Pay-Per Views and gates, the UFC has monopolised the fighting game and in 2016 the promotion has seen big fight after big fight.
"It’s really up to what motivates Georges. That’s the only thing. Georges has won many titles, he’s been in many fights. There’s nothing for him to gain. He’s got plenty of money. There’s nothing for him to gain other than to do it for fun, to do it for the sheer pleasure. So if he finds something that’s fun and pleasurable, and he’s excited about doing, that’s what’s going to pull the trigger."
At the age of 34, GSP hasn't really got anything left to conquer within the UFC. When he announced his hiatus in 2013, St-Pierre was champion for a stretch of 10 fights and nine title defenses. Since then, he has defected to the world of Hollywood, most prolifically starring in Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
It looks like even a fast track shot at the welterweight title against Robbie Lawler wouldn't even whet his appetite. Zahabi pointed out that Lawler has lost to guys that GSP has already defeated.
"I don’t know if that [a fight against current welterweight champion Robbie Lawler] motivates Georges," Zahabi said. "Lawler has lost to guys that Georges has already beat. Georges, I don’t know if he wants to be champion. I haven’t asked him, ‘Hey, do you want to be champion again? Do you want to have to defend your title over and over again?’ I don’t know if he wants to do those things. We didn’t really talk about that.
So with enough money in the bank and opportunities abundant, what will it take to get one of the most devastating fighters in UFC's history, back in the ocatgon. With a title shot seemingly not enough, perhaps it will take a super fight of Las Vegas proportions, with a belt added in as an extra incentive to entice the future UFC hall of famer back into the fighting game.