This past weekend (Nov. 4, 2017), Georges St. Pierre, after a near four-year layoff, made a triumphant return to action, submitting Michael Bisping in the main event of UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden to become the undisputed UFC middleweight champion.
Due to the layoff and the fact that St. Pierre, who held the promotion’s welterweight title from 2008-13, had never competed at 185 pounds before, many were unsure of how he would compete against Bisping.
In the end, “Rush” didn’t miss a beat, although he did appear to tire a bit as the fight headed into the third round, which is unusual for him given his trademark conditioning. His boxing coach Freddie Roach also noticed the issue, and he admitted that he was a ‘little concerned’:
“I was a little concerned (with his stamina). It was obviously a fast-paced fight, and he did box very well in the first round and I was very happy with it. Bisping is a very tough opponent, he came back in the second round,” Roach said on The MMA Hour.
“He countered our right hand with his right hand, so that’s where I saw the left hook would work because he is a little bit lazy bringing it back. He was getting a little bit tired,” he added.
Continuing on, Roach revealed that he’s unsure if St. Pierre will continue to fight at middleweight:
“I think moving up in the weight division, I am not sure that’s his best weight division or if we will fight there again. We will see where it goes. The weight got to him, he’s not used to carrying that much weight and it fatigued him quicker than usual,” added Roach. “Again, we will work it all out and get together with the whole team and discuss what the next best move is for Georges.”
Prior to the fight, the Canadian star said that it was stated in his contract that he must defend the title against interim champion Robert Whittaker if he had indeed come out on top. After the fight, UFC President Dana White also confirmed that a bout between St. Pierre and Whittaker is the plan.
Of course, however, crazier things have happened in mixed martial arts, and it wouldn’t be surprised to see St. Pierre head in a different direction. Perhaps he could drop back down to welterweight and attempt to reclaim the title he never lost.