After Georges St. Pierre’s longtime coach Ziras Zahabi recently relayed he believes the storied fighter could return to action next year, UFC boss man Dana White has weighed in on the former champ’s title shot chances.
While speaking to ESPN.com a few days ago, Zahabi had this to say about St. Pierre, and the possibility that he’ll fight again:
“My personal opinion is he still has plenty of competitive juice in him. I don’t think he’ll be anywhere near fight shape until he’s late-34 — mid-34. I think he’s got a few fights in him but I don’t want to speak for the guy. He might retire and no one could blame him.”
The comments immediately sparked widespread speculation, as to if and when GSP will return to fighting, even though Zahabi also insisted “we never talk about his comeback.”
The Tristar coach also relayed that St. Pierre is scheduled to begin some “light” training in October, as he continues to recover from ACL surgery he underwent earlier this year.
Well, in a follow up interview with UFC.com, or “The Download” as it’s called, here is what White had to say about St. Pierre.
“It would be tough to deny that GSP comes right back and doesn’t fight for the title, you know what I mean?” White said. “GSP can do whatever he wants. If he wants to come back and fight for the title, or if he wants a fight before that – he can do whatever he wants.”
Really, how could anyone argue St. Pierre doesn’t deserve a title shot, if and when he comes back? Regardless of whether you thought he lost to Johny Hendricks last November, we are talking about a man who has won 12 straight fights and is one of the greatest, pound-for-pound fighters in the sport’s history.
A fighter who has defeated the likes of Carlos Condit, BJ Penn, Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughes, Nick Diaz, Thiago Alves, Jon Fitch, Jake Shields and yes, officially speaking, Hendricks.
So, to hear White say the guy can “do whatever he wants”, is pretty nice.
Of course, none of this means that GSP will fight again, but some things have certainly changed since he announced his hiatus, which could mean he’s considering it.
The Canadian made it clear that he’s not happy about the current drug testing standards throughout the sport, and more recently, the UFC has announced it’s intention to implement more random testing. No one is really sure, however, if the personal issues St. Pierre cited last year have been resolved.
If GSP comes back, and Hendricks is still the champ, how effin huge will that fight be? 2015 could feature some massive, monster fights.
Afterall, things kick off on January 3rd with Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier, and then later that month, another legend in Anderson Silva will square off with Nick Diaz.