Just 48 hours after the October issue of Fighters Only went on sale worldwide, Georges St-Pierre reiterated his desire to return to the Octagon when making an appearance on UFC Tonight in the US.
The latest issue of FO features a world exclusive interview with GSP, discussing the reasons why he quit the cage, his desire to return and the cultural clashes he felt alienated him from the MMA scene just a couple of years ago.
While he didn’t go as far as to confirm how or when he would be returning, the former welterweight champion again responded to claims by UFC president Dana White didn’t have the desire to fight again.
“I want to come back,” St-Pierre said. “They know the terms that I want, and trust me, I’m very reasonable. So it’s up to them. We tried. My agent tried to reach them and they’re hard to reach, but I guess they’re going to come back soon. Hopefully, we’ll see.”
An awful lot has changed since GSP last fought for the promotion, at UFC 163 in November 2013. The Reebok partnership is now in full swing, USADA is heavily involved with the drug testing process, and not to mention there are new owners in the executive boxes courtesy of WME-IMG.
“If you see it from my perspective, I’m making a lot of money now even though I’m not fighting,” St-Pierre added. “My contract is old. My contract was made before the Reebok deal, and when we asked, basically, it’s now because if I go back and fight I cannot advertise my sponsors, so I’m losing money if I go back to fight on the old terms of my contract. So, it’s reasonable. I’m just waiting to so what’s going to happen.”
During the interview GSP replied directly to Dana questioning the Canadian’s willingness and desire to fight again. “He doesn’t know anything about me,” St-Pierre said bluntly. “I’m a smart guy. I’m not the kind of guy you’re going to say that (about) and okay I’m going to sign right here, I’m going to fight for peanuts. No, I’m a smart person.
“It doesn’t work, these things on me. But I’m going to tell him something, to Dana, let me fight once and you’ll see in the first minute of the fight that what you just said is wrong.”
By the sounds of it, it appears of all the options available to him the opportunity to fight champion Tyron Woodley and reclaim the UFC welterweight championship, a title he gave up when he walked away from the Octagon, is at the top of GSP’s wish list.
“Let me fight Tyrone Woodley, then we’ll see if I want to be world champion again. I understand what he means, and I’m not angry at Dana. He does what he does for the best of his interests. I do what I do for the best of my interests.
“One day when all of that is going to be over, we’ll probably be friends, like most of the guys who I’ve fought. But now, it’s like a game. He’s doing his game, I’m doing mine.”
The Canadian market hasn’t been as fruitful for the UFC since GSP’s departure from the sport and although they have been back north, most recently with the UFC on FOX card last weekend in Vancouver, they haven’t been back nearly as often when compared to when Georges was ruling over the 170lb division.
And with UFC 206 destined for Toronoto on December 10th it also appears the stage is set for one of the most dramatic returns in MMA history.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it’s in Toronto,” St-Pierre added. “Who would be a better man than myself to headline a card in Toronto, to fill up the Air Canada (Centre) and get back the Canadian fans, raise the pay-per-view up because now Rory (MacDonald) is going to Bellator? I’m the man for the job.”
* Pick up the October issue of Fighters Only magazine, available on newsstands today, for even more exclusive quotes from GSP on his return to the Octagon and much more.