After four years off from MMA, Georges St-Pierre returned to the cage last year in triumphant fashion, winning the UFC middleweight title with a spectacular submission over Michael Bisping at UFC 217. But as quickly as he came back, St-Pierre left again, vacating his title a month after winning it, stating a recent medical diagnosis of ulcerative colitis as the reason for stepping away from the sport for an undetermined amount of time. Now the question on everyone’s mind is, when St-Pierre will re-return to fighting, but according to one of his coaches, a second St-Pierre comeback is far from guaranteed.
St-Pierre’s coach John Danaher went on Joe Rogan’s MMA Show podcast Monday to discuss his student’s return to MMA and what the future may hold for the greatest welterweight of al- time, saying that no one can be sure GSP returns and suggesting that a second comeback might not be in the cards for St-Pierre.
“The truth is that no one knows because it comes down to medical problems,” said Danaher. “Georges has a problem in his stomach. I’m not gonna claim to be a medical expert but it’s one of the most frustrating things Georges has had to deal with. . . The truth is, no one really knows at this point. Wherever there’s doubt my instinct is to think, ‘Do you really want to come back Georges? You’ve done all this and it was [an] amazing [way to end his career.]’”
St-Pierre’s comeback would serve as a storybook ending to one of the greatest careers in the history of the sport. Having been off four years, GSP came back to become only the fourth fighter in history to win a title in two separate weight classes. But middleweight seems to be a one-time thing for St-Pierre if he should return as GSP had a difficult time keeping his weight up for the training camp. That means that if GSP does return again, it would likely be to the welterweight division, possibly against current champion Tyron Woodley, a fight Danaher says interests them.
“Absolutely,” said Danaher. “I think Tyron Woodley is a great champion. I know he gets a lot of flak but that kid is talented. I think he’s very, very good. I think people say that [GSP doesn’t want to fight Woodley] for reasons so they can motivate someone to fight. There’s a political aspect to it. I think both athletes have a deep respect for each other.
“Tyron Woodley’s a very, very difficult opponent to beat. People criticize his style but people don’t understand the difference between regular fighting and championship fighting. Championship fighting is about winning and losing and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to win. That’s the first consideration. It’s nice to impress the crowd, it’s nice to do this or that but ultimately it’s about what you are going to do to win, what you are going to do to beat the second-best guy in the world. That’s a difficult, difficult thing.”
Woodley has been actively campaigning for a fight against St-Pierre since the former champion announced his intent to return but was denied when St-Pierre opted to challenge for the middleweight belt. And though Danaher did say GSP was interested in a fight with the welterweight champ, he also voiced a concern that such a fight doesn’t have the same incentives to get St-Pierre to come back like the Bisping fight did.
“My only reservation is that essentially it’s the same fight that Georges did for a decade,” concluded Danaher. “It’s Georges against another very, very tough welterweight, which he did for 10 years of his life.”
$$$. Francis Ngannou says he’s making $500K base pay for his title shot at UFC 220.
Holes. Luke Rockhold says Yoel Romero “has more holes to expose” than Robert Whittaker.
Promotion. Dana White questions Uriah Hall’s preparation and weight-cutting techniques.
Under the bus. Vitor Belfort asks for UFC St. Louis pay but Dana White says he turned down replacement offers.
Sit. Jeremy Stephens says Brian Ortega would rather “sit and wait for a title” than fight.
Missed Fists. Recommended viewing from the non-major MMA events over the weekend.
Countdown for 220.
Embedded for 220.
Taking a look into the champ as he prepares for his toughest fight.
A very ASMR remix.
Some technical analysis of one of the premier kickboxers today.
First Combat BJJ is now up for free.
The MMA Hour. Interviews with Cormier, Sonnen, Rockhold, Cyborg, Lima, and more.
Severe MMA. Discussing UFC St. Louis, UFC 220, and Bellator 192.
Anik & Florian. Discussing UFC St. Louis and previewing UFC 220.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Can’t call it a comeback until he actually comes back.
I hope Reebok steps up here.
Also, cans? Not even trying to keep it honest.
Dana says a lot of things.
This is terrible.
DC Twitter beefing with some wrestlers.
And Dave Sholler is ready to get in there.
Scott Askham (15-4) vs. Michal Materla (25-5); KSW 42, March 3.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2006: Duane Ludwig scored the fastest KO in UFC history when he knocked out Jonathan Goulet in 4 seconds. Officially, the bout is listed at ending in 11 seconds but Dana White and the UFC have retroactively labeled this the fastest finish in UFC history.
2015: At Bellator 132, Patricio Freire submitted Daniel Strauss to retain his Bellator featherweight title.
2016: Cris Cyborg defended her Invicta featherweight title for the final time before jumping to the UFC, knocking out Daria Ibragimova in the first round of the main event at Invicta FC 15.
If you have time, I recommend you go listen to the full pod with Danaher. He’s a guy who clearly spends a ton of time thinking about fighting and it’s a good listen.
Anyway, that’s all for today folks. Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.
If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.