Will Georges St-Pierre stay retired? Will Georges St-Pierre return?
As it turns out, the future UFC Hall of Famer himself doesn’t have the answer to either one of those questions – though he’s weighing his options.
In an interview with TSN on Wednesday, St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC), a former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion, opened up about the mental conflicts he encounters when considering another octagon return.
“Why step back in? But why not step back in?” St-Pierre said. “We only live once. That’s the question that I’m facing now, you know? If I have an opportunity to do it and all the stars align and I don’t do it – because I’ve still got it now. I’d say I’m in my best years. Will I regret, when I reach 50 years? … I don’t know.”
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has long expressed interest in a fight against St-Pierre. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, St-Pierre would’ve been more likely to accept that fight. However, since that time, his mentality has changed. His enthusiasm for competition dies down when he gets home from the gym.
“I’m kind of satisfied,” St-Pierre said. “Do you know what I mean? Satisfaction for the athlete is the death. You’re done. You’re finished when you’re satisfied. In order to come back, I’m in a mental state of mind where I’m not sure. The stars would need to be aligned perfectly.”
After giving up his 170-pound title in November 2013 to take a hiatus from the sport, St-Pierre came back in 2017 to capture the 185-pound belt, which he later vacated. He’s not competed since.
St-Pierre said a fight against Nurmagomedov was discussed – and both were open to it. However, St-Pierre told ESPN on Wednesday that he’s not certain the UFC would be on board with the idea.
“[Two] years ago, when I retired, we tried to make the fight happen,” St-Pierre said. “I was all-in. I was trying to make the fight happen. And the UFC didn’t want to do it. Now, two years have passed by. I don’t know if the UFC is gonna change their mind. Even if the UFC wants to make the fight, they change their minds, the stars have to align.”
If the bout were offered, St-Pierre wouldn’t accept a fight against Nurmagomedov at 155 pounds, he said. The uncharted territory of a catchweight is much more appealing to the 39-year-old.
“I haven’t cut weight for a long time,” St-Pierre said. “If I go down to 155, my performance will be compromised. I know Khabib is about the same size as me. He’s maybe bigger than me when he’s offseason. I never go up to 200. I’m at 185. That’s turned to his advantage. If we cut more weight, he’s able to bounce back more than I am. He’s used to it. I’ve never been a big fan of cutting weight. Even when I was a welterweight, I was 185. Most guys now are much bigger than 185.
“That’s one of the principles of the art of war. Know the terrain. I don’t know. I’ve never fought at 155. He knows, I believe, to make it fair, we need to fight in a place we’ve never been. Both of us. That would have to be a condition to me coming back if it happens.”