Georges St.Pierre watched Johny Hendricks defeat Robbie Lawler to claim the vacant welterweight title on Saturday night from the comfort of his own home, but it appears it hasn’t reignited his desire to return to the Octagon.
While the former champion enjoyed the fight, and thinks the judges made the right decision by scoring the fight in Hendricks’ favor, he says that the time is not yet right for him to come back.
“For now, I don’t want to do it. I needed to step out and stay out of the radar,” St.Pierre said on The MMA Hour radio show. “That’s one of the things I said. I didn’t know if it was going to be six months, a year, a year and a half, I don’t know. But right now, I don’t feel like coming back right now. It’s not right for me.”
That’s understandable, after all it’s only been four months since he vacated the title and stepped away from the sport for an undisclosed period of time.
From a competitive stand-point (though probably not from a financial one) the welterweight division is now happily moving on without the Canadian superstar as was ably demonstrated at the weekend with a series of 170lb scraps perculating through the UFC 171 fight card, bringing new contenders like Tyron Woodley and Hector Lombard into the spotlight, while Rory MacDonald was suggested by color commentator Joe Rogan post-fight as a potential candidate for the next shot at the title.
Naturally, with MacDonald being a friend and team-mate of GSP’s, he’s in full support of him getting the next shot at the title.
“I’m very happy for Rory,” St.Pierre said. “He did an amazing fight against Demian Maia and he proved he’s the No. 1 contender.”
On the official rankings MacDonald moved up to the No.2 contender spot after Saturday night’s show, leap-frogging Carlos Condit who suffered an unfortunate knee injury during his co-main event bout, though he still remains below the defeated title challenger Robbie Lawler who’s stock and ranking rose even despite his decision loss.
There’s no suggestion that an immediate rematch between Hendricks and Lawler is in the pipeline though, so it does appear that MacDonald is now most likely to get the next shot at the new champion ahead of Woodley who jumped up to No.4 on the list thanks to his win over Condit.
So, it’s clear there’s plenty of life left in the welterweight division in the post-GSP era.
That being said, there will come a time when people start to yearn for his return, and despite St.Pierre himself being reluctant to commit to whether he will make a comeback or not, UFC president Dana White indicated last week that he “knows for a fact” that one day he will step back into the Octagon.