Longtime UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre may or may not have been headed for a return to the cage following some time off after his controversial split decision win over Johny Hendricks at last November’s UFC 167.
St. Pierre’s intentions, whatever they may be, will remain unknown for the time being after the legendary titleholder suffered his second torn ACL while training last week. UFC President Dana White was quick to say he felt for St.. Pierre’s situation, but noted that he had the chance to keep the belt should he have chosen to.
Regardless, St. Pierre is on the shelf for an undetermined amount of time even if he was planning a return. After first reporting that St. Pierre had underwent successful knee surgery, Ariel Helwani confirmed on tonight’s “UFC Tonight” that “GSP” will indeed head in for the operation next week, something that will not deter a potential return to the Octagon:
GSP's ACL knee surgery was successful, his optimistic stance on a possible return to the UFC is still intact.— UFC Tonight (@UFCTonight) April 2, 2014
Correction: GSP's surgery scheduled for next week, has not yet occurred. Chris Weidman's surgery was the success. #Oops— UFC Tonight (@UFCTonight) April 2, 2014
While nothing has been confirmed, it’s good to hear that St. Pierre is still optimistic about one. There are a ton of fans and media who feel that St. Pierre should definitely come back, while many others believe that the newly wide-open UFC welterweight division has benefited greatly from the freedom his absence has caused.
But with newly crowned champion Johny Hendricks on the sidelines following surgery for a torn biceps, the division will be on hold at least until sometime this fall. In the meantime, there are a ton of potentially exciting fights on the table that will decide the next rightful title contender, with the main one being the rumored Rory MacDonald vs. Tyron Woodley bout slated for UFC 174 this June.
St. Pierre tore his right ACL before his scheduled UFC 137 title bout with Nick Diaz back in 2011, and then famously came back to score three straight wins over top welterweights in Carlos Condit, Diaz, and Hendricks (albeit very controversially). It’s impossible to count “GSP” out if he does come back, but with age and injuries seemingly mounting, should he step back as one of the greatest champions to ever fight in the Octagon?