Recently, legendary former UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre gave us the most concrete words about a potential return to MMA, stating that he was “beginning to get the feeling.”

Those words were a step in the right direction for a move that fans have been absolutely clamoring for ever since “GSP” left the title behind after his controversial split decision win over Johny Hendricks in the main event of UFC 167.

St. Pierre has apparently stayed in the gym training throughout his absence, and while he’s obviously not in the elite fight shape were used to seeing him in right now, there’s also not much doubt that he could get there in relatively short order if he so desired, creating an opportunity for some absolutely massive welterweight bouts in 2016.

Here are five big reasons why he needs to do just that.

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5.) Drug testing has improved

At the forefront of St. Pierre’s many reasons for vacating the belt in late 2013 was the daunting fact that performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) cast a dark scourge over MMA.

While that could certainly still be the case, the UFC’s all new and more stringent that went into effect in July should help to clean up the sport in dramatic fashion, at least in concept.

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St. Pierre has taken subtle jab at certain fighters (like Hendricks when he missed weight at last weeks UFC 192, for example), and he’s said that there is still much work to be done, he’s glad to see positive steps being taken. That could definitely lead to a UFC return in the near future.

4.) He’s one of few links to an era gone by

St. Pierre was one of, if not the, most prominent faces of the era where the UFC truly rose to prominence under Zuffa. He holds the record for most welterweight title defenses with nine, and now he has the chance to bridge the gap as a truly generational star who could transcend multiple eras of MMA.

No, he doesn’t really have anything left to prove, but a return could show the new class of talented welterweights that St. Pierre is without a doubt the best 170-pound fighter to set foot in the octagon.

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3.) MMA needs a class act

Building off of the second reason, the UFC just needs a class act like St. Pierre right now. Yes, the promotion has enjoyed massive success in 2015 on the strength of new top draws Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor, but they aren’t exactly the classiest of fighters.

True, they drive ratings like no other, but fighting has been missing a classy, professional presence like St. Pierre ever since he left. In truth St. Pierre was able to match them in terms of pay-per-view (PPV) buys, and there’s little to no doubt that he would be able to pick up right where he left off immediately upon his return, making the move a highly lucrative one for the UFC and an exciting one for the fans.

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Georges St-Pierre: The Saint of MMA | Muscle & Fitness

2.) He’s just not that old

At the heart of the matter, “GSP” just isn’t that old. At 34 years old he’s no spring chicken, but elite former champions like Anderson Silva and Randy Couture were more than effective well past that point in their respective careers.

Yes, multiple knee reconstructions have undoubtedly sapped some of the explosiveness and quickness from his athletic ability, but there are few if any fighters who prepare themselves for a bout like St. Pierre does, which he has deemed a bit obsessive.

If he was fully motivated, St. Pierre could get himself into shape and come back at a level that was close to what he once was. If nothing else, we’d find out whether or not that was the case relatively quickly in his first bout.

MMA: UFC 167-St-Pierre vs Hendricks

1.) Revenge

The top spot on this list goes to none other reason that revenge, as St. Pierre has a few specific fighters who he could be looking to get a bit of vengeance on.

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The obvious first choice is Hendricks, whom many still feel beat St. Pierre in their fateful bout. While he’s fallen on a bit of hard times regarding his weight cuts, “Bigg Rigg” did go on to win the title against Robbie Lawler at UFC 171 and nearly defended it at last December’s UFC 181, only to be edged out by a split decision from “Ruthless.”

Hendricks is stuck in a kind of welterweight purgatory right now, and could be headed up to middleweight. But if he could make weight healthily, a fight with a returning St. Pierre would undoubtedly be a huge one with a pre-installed backstory.

The second man on St. Pierre’s virtual hit list is none other than Lawler, who will face former “GSP’ victim Carlos Condit for the strap at January’s UFC 195. “Ruthless” also owns two previous wins over St. Pierre’s good friend and protégé Rory MacDonald, meaning that he could certainly be looking to avenge those defeats by wresting the belt from Lawler’s hands.

If and when St. Pierre decides to return and if Lawler gets past Condit next year, there simply isn’t a bigger welterweight fight in MMA. It would be a huge draw with a ton of history, and it would either prove that St. Pierre was always the best or that Lawler has taken over as the true king of the 170-pound throne.