It looks like the Dana White-Georges St-Pierre drama has been fired back up.
Slightly more than seven months after St-Pierre returned from a nearly four-year layoff to submit Michael Bisping in the main event of last November’s UFC 217, the legend’s status is currently unknown. What is known is that he won’t be fighting at 185 pounds if he does eventually return, as GSP vacated the belt hardly a month after winning it, citing a bout with colitis due to the increased caloric intake required to fight at middleweight.
He’s been linked to a bout with Nate Diaz at August 4’s UFC 227 but has denied it vehemently, and there were whispers of an unofficial lightweight tournament also featuring Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov that ultimately fell apart. Word is St-Pierre may want to fight McGregor or Khabib, or perhaps both.
However, UFC President Dana White is up to some old tricks. He asserted that St-Pierre didn’t actually want to fight when rumors ran rampant he would return last year, almost goading the legendary former two-division champion into a run. Now, in an interview with TSN (via MMA Junkie) this week, White proclaimed that ‘as far as he was concerned,’ St-Pierre was retired:
“We’ve been talking about a fight with ‘GSP,’ but ‘GSP’ is retired. As far as I’m concerned, ‘GSP’ is retired right now. He’s not interested in fighting anybody.”
St-Pierre recently had a lengthy appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast where he didn’t mention retirement but did affirm that his health was still giving him problems, putting his status at below one hundred percent and making an August fight with Diaz highly unlikely.
White apparently took the fact that GSP wouldn’t be ready to face Diaz in August as a confirmation he didn’t want to fight at all:
“We were trying to do a fight with him and Nate Diaz in Los Angeles, and ‘GSP’ doesn’t want the fight. ‘GSP’ doesn’t want to fight right now. He’s not interested in fighting.”
Aside from White’s assertion, however, there is no evidence whatsoever that St-Pierre is considering retirement, even though he was obviously out for almost four years prior to his emphatic return against “The Count” at Madison Square Garden. St-Pierre remains in the USADA testing pool, indicating that he is at least contemplating yet another UFC return.
Is White just challenging his onetime top draw in the media once again so he comes back for a huge PPV?