Georges St-Pierre is the greatest welterweight in MMA history, and after a long hiatus from the sport, he’s ready to return to the Octagon. In a somewhat surprising twist, however, we’ve learned that St-Pierre isn’t particularly interested in attempting to reclaim the welterweight title, which will be up for grabs when champ Tyron Woodley and challenger Stephen Thompson fight in the main event of UFC 209 this weekend.
In a recent interview with ESPN (via MMAFighting.com), Woodley weighed in on St-Pierre’s apparent disinterest in the welterweight crown. According to the current champ, this is because the former champ wants to steer clear of him.
“Let’s not get it twisted, part of the reason [St-Pierre] left the sport was concussions,” Woodley said. “He doesn’t seem to be extremely thrilled to get in there with somebody that can punch him to the point of getting dropped and suffering a concussion – an ugly, grueling fight.”
“I’m a guy who makes that fight for him. I have the highest takedown defense in the entire welterweight division, maybe the second-highest on the UFC roster. It’s going to be very hard for him to take me down and keep me down.”
“I think they want to see how this [UFC 209 welterweight title fight] plays out. If ‘Wonderboy’ comes up with a victory, I think we’ll see him try to fight ‘Wonderboy.’
“[Thompson] has a crazy style and he has knocked guys out, but how many times has he stood in the pocket and just thrown heavy leather [and] let them damn UFC gloves fly and knock somebody out? Never.”
Woodley then weighed in on St-Pierre’s interest in fights with Conor McGregor and Michael Bisping, who rule the lightweight and welterweight divisions respectively.
“Bisping knows he’s not the best middleweight. He’s just a guy who is tough, seized his moment and became the champion of the world,” Woodley said. “There’s nothing bad about that, but those are way better options for [St-Pierre] than fighting somebody like me, who has been looking at him for many years, is a better wrestler, punches harder and has been more active in the last three years.”
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This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/1/2017.