Don’t call it a comeback! One of mixed martial art’s most successful and dominant fighters is inching closer and closer to returning to the UFC.
Former welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre confirmed with MMAFighting.com that he is in the midst of negotiating a return to the cage after a three-year absence. He has begun USADA drug testing and suggests that a return could happen before the new year.
“All the stars are aligned, my friend,” St-Pierre said. “I’m not lying to you, it’s not done yet. It’s not done at this point. We still have to talk to the new owners soon, see what they’ve gotta say.”
Coincidentally (or maybe not), the UFC will be returning to Canada in December, the same week that St-Pierre’s four months of mandated drug testing, which is required by USADA prior to a fight, would expire. St-Pierre is the most famous and successful Canadian fighter in the history of MMA. UFC 206 takes place at Toronto’s Air Canada Center.
It sounds like the only stumbling block is the exact details of GSP’s fight contract, especially since the UFC just changed ownership in a $4 billion deal. Fighters like Conor McGregor have raised the bar significantly on how fighters expect to be compensated, and a name as big as Georges St-Pierre will likely command a huge financial commitment from the new owners.
“It’s something fair and we have to wait,” St-Pierre said. “I’m very well represented. I’m very confident and trusting in the people that work for me. I’m very well taken care of for that. I want to go back to fighting. I don’t have to.
“I would like to, because I feel I’m in my prime right now. I’m the best I’ve ever been at 35. Right now. I don’t want to wait any longer, because if I wait too long I’m gonna be past that prime and I don’t want that. This is a good time to be back right now. That’s why I want to go back.”
St-Pierre hasn’t found since November 2013, when he defeated Johny Hendricks via a narrow split decision. Afterwards, he announced he was stepping away from fighting for a number of personal reasons, including not being satisfied with the UFC’s lax approach to drug testing. The company has since tripled-down on cleaning up the sport, with increased testing and regulations.