Georges St. Pierre has officially inked a new contract with the UFC and it’s not a moment too soon. The organization is desperately in need of more star power and St. Pierre immediately provides that. He’s still a recognizable draw, despite nearly four years away from the sport.
St. Pierre was arguably the most dominant fighter in the world when he walked away from mixed martial arts in 2013. He was on a 12-fight winning streak that had lasted more than six years. He held the UFC record for most wins in title bouts and had the second-longest combined title streak in history at 2,204 days. Injuries and the rigors of training finally caught up with the Quebec native and he needed a break. But at 35 he’s finally ready to get back into the game.
St. Pierre’s return will give the UFC a much needed boost. Conor McGregor is currently on a well-earned vacation from the company and continues to seem more interested in Floyd Mayweather than his next MMA fight. Ronda Rousey appears headed for retirement and Jon Jones is still suspended. There’s a wide gap for a star to fill, and St. Pierre should fit in nicely.
The return of GSP just made the welterweight division even more wide open. Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson battled to a draw at UFC 205, which meant Woodley retained his championship. Obviously Thompson has earned a rematch, which means St. Pierre won’t immediately be competing for a title. That leaves him a ton of options for a first fight back.
St. Pierre could aim for a bout with Nick Diaz, which would be a rematch of his dominant unanimous decision victory at UFC 158. Or he could look to lock in a bout against a top contender like Robbie Lawler or Demian Maia. Then, of course, there’s always the chance he could match up with McGregor at a catchweight down the road. Regardless of which direction GSP and Dana White decide to go, you can bet his first fight back will draw enormous hype.
One of the greatest to ever step in to the octagon is finally back and it will be a blast following his next step. St. Pierre’s return will be huge for the UFC and we could see his impact almost immediately.