Georges St-Pierre may now be the UFC’s middleweight champion after defeating Michael Bisping at UFC 217 last weekend, but there is increasing speculation that the Canadian superstar may not stick around in the division to defend his title.
Speaking in the Octagon directly after the fight, GSP seemed to duck the question of whether he’d fight interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker next, and in a special edition of The MMA Hour show yesterday he told Ariel Helwani that even though he’s contractually obliged to fight him, its possible it won’t happen.
“I’ll take a few weeks and then I’ll decide,” St-Pierre said on the show. “I have no desire to hold onto the title and freeze the division. That’s not what I want to do.
“There’s a lot of different things that can change. Mixed martial arts is a sport that changes all the time, and like I said, I wanted to come back to make history, to do something that’d never been done before. I know it’s in my contract (to fight Whittaker), but you never know. Dana (White) could come back with some proposition or whatever.
“Dana is the boss, we’ll see what’s going to happen. I just need some vacation now. That’s why I burned out last time, because I was trying to think too much ahead of time. And sometimes when you try to think ahead of time, things that you’re thinking about, you’re wasting your energy because they don’t even happen.”
Meanwhile, GSP’s boxing coach Freddie Roach had already told Helwani earlier this week that he’d like to see him drop back down in weight.
Another of his mentor’s, BJJ coach John Danaher also revealed that despite his efforts to get bigger for his middleweight debut, St-Pierre didn’t make the kind of gains they had been hoping for.
“On fight night he weighed in at 190.5 – almost identical to his usual fight weight as a welterweight,” Danaher wrote on social media. “The great effort to increase size just didn’t work out and Mr. St-Pierre went in to win the title as a mid-sized welterweight.”
So, the signs are that a drop back down to the welterweight division he used to rule for many years could well be on the cards for GSP, although it should be noted that he also didn’t completely dispel the idea of just retiring either.
“I don’t know,” St-Pierre replied when asked about the possibility of hanging up his gloves. “It’s the same question from a different angle. That’s why I can’t talk about this – I don’t know right now. I understand it’s normal, but I don’t even know for myself what’s going to be the next move.”