Earlier this year, we learned that former UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre – one of the best fighters ever – was poised for a long-awaited return to the Octagon. St-Pierre’s return, however, would not occur in the welterweight division where he was once so dominant. Instead, the former welterweight king was set to make his return in the unfamiliar middleweight division, where he received a shot at reigning champion Michael Bisping.
This news was understandably disappointing for the middleweight division’s top contenders, whose spot in line had been usurped by an admittedly great fighter, but one who had never fought in the division before. Fighters from Yoel Romero, to Luke Rockhold, to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza all expressed their distaste for this matchup.
Luckily for those who were not a fan of this St-Pierre – Bisping booking, the UFC has now chosen to go another direction. After St-Pierre suggested he would not be able to fight Bisping until sometime after October, the promotion pulled the plug on the plans. Though Bisping has suggested he’d be willing to wait for St-Pierre, it now looks as though the next middleweight title shot will go to Romero.
What this all means for St-Pierre, of course, has remained something of a mystery. In a recent interview with TSN, however, White confirmed the former welterweight king’s return fight will occur at welterweight after all, where he’ll receive a shot at whoever the champion is at the time of his return.
“[St-Pierre] says he will fight whoever the 170-pound champion is when he comes back,” White said.
Given that it appears St-Pierre won’t be ready to fight for some time, this looks like good news for Demian Maia, who has been chasing his title shot for some time. With St-Pierre on the shelf till the fall, the Brazilian grappling specialist will surely have time to squeeze in his title shot against champ Tyron Woodley sometime this summer.
Do you think Georges St-Pierre can reclaim welterweight gold from Tyron Woodley or Demian Maia?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/22/2017.