The return of former UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St-Pierre is nearly upon us. MMA reporter Ariel Helwani spilled the beans, citing multiple sources that ‘GSP’ and the UFC have finally come to terms. The new contract is for multiple fights with GSP’s first appearance inside the Octagon coming later this year.
The 35-year-old has not seen action since his highly-controversial November 2013 split decision over Johny Hendricks. With St-Pierre calling for his retirement shortly after and pursuing a career in Hollywood. Many fans have written the Canadian phenom off completely, certain that he would not be back.
GSP Has Come to Terms on a New Contract with the UFC According to Sources
However, if the Helwani report is true, it would seem that GSP has succumbed to the allure of competition.
The former pound-for-pound king left the Octagon on a high note, having won his last 12 fights. But on his way out, GSP appeared a shell of his former self. The physical tools were still present, but many fans feel his heart just was not into fighting anymore. That appears to have changed now that GSP is on the cusp of announcing his return.
He was highly-rumored to have been scheduled to return as early as UFC 205 of last year. At the time, a megabout against “The Notorious” Conor McGregor was being floated around. It was to be GSP’s first time back against the biggest star in the UFC and it was supposed to be epic.
But GSP and the new owners of the UFC, WME/IMG, could not come to terms on a new contract. Hence, his return to the Octagon was shelved somewhat. Now, it appears they have settled their differences behind the scenes and the Canadian is all but ready to come back.
How Does GSP Stack Up Against Today’s Top Welterweights?
The welterweight landscape has changed drastically since GSP’s last time in the Octagon. Hendricks, the last man he conquered, is completely out of the picture as well as former top contender Carlos Condit. Today, the UFC welterweight division is ruled by reigning champion Tyron Woodley.
Woodley is scheduled to face Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in a highly-anticipated rematch of their first encounter at UFC 205. The bout ended in a draw and Woodley retained his title. If Woodley can get past Thompson once again, it would set the stage for an epic showdown with St-Pierre.
Both Woodley and St-Pierre have expressed interest in throwing down at the center of the Octagon. So making the fight shouldn’t be all that difficult.
Nevertheless, whoever GSP ends up fighting it’s almost certain to draw lots of attention. Previously considered one of the best fighters in the world pound-for-pound, it would be interesting to see how GSP fares against some of the best young talents of today.