Earlier this month, UFC President Dana White made headlines when he said that he was hoping to strike a deal to have former two-division world champion Georges St. Pierre take on former lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz at August 4’s UFC 227 from Los Angeles, California.
Today (May 23, 2018), however, St. Pierre essentially confirmed that the fight would not be taking place:
“They said it was a done deal,” St-Pierre said on an edition of The Joe Rogan Experience. “It wasn’t a done deal. Not on my part. I don’t think it was on Nate Diaz’s part, as well. He says it’s not his fight; it’s his brother’s fight.”
St. Pierre, widely considered to be the greatest welterweight of all-time, returned late last year after a four-year layoff to submit Michael Bisping in the main event of UFC 217 to become the promotion’s middleweight champion. Shortly after the fight, he vacated the title due to health issues.
Speaking to Rogan today, “Rush” made it clear that he would likely fight again and he confirmed that dropping down to 155 pounds is indeed a real possibility. A fight with Diaz, however, represents a lose-lose fight in the mind of St. Pierre:
“Nate Diaz is an incredible fighter, very well rounded,” St-Pierre said. “If you put yourself in my shoes there’s nothing good that can come out of it except for money, and money isn’t the only thing that drives me. If I beat Nate Diaz decisively, most people will say, ‘He took an easy fight.’
“The (critics) will say, ‘He’s a bully. He fought a smaller guy that competes at a smaller (division),’” St-Pierre said. “A lot of (lightweight) guys are bigger than me right now. He’s about the same size as me, but because I compete at 170 for most of my career, it will make me look bad. It will make me look like a bully. And this is if I win decisively.
“If I win decisively, and it’s a war back and forth, people will say, ‘Ah, he sucks.’ If I get beat? Oh my God, forget it. For my legacy it’s the end of the work I put in. It’s finished. And I could have a bad day.”
As far as what could draw him back to the Octagon, St. Pierre said it would have to be a new challenge or something that he’s never done before:
“I want to do something that … at 155, I never did it before,” St-Pierre said. “The title, or beating a certain guy that’s on the rise. It could be Khabib (Nurmagomedov), (or) if there’s another guy that is unbeatable.
“If I come back like, ‘Georges is never going to beat him.’ You say never, I’m going to love it. When Dana said I would never come back, it excited me. If it’s never been done before, and it means if I do it, that will excite me. There’s a lot of things that turn me on in life. It’s women, dinosaurs and this. That really makes me go crazy.”
If and when he returns to the fight game, who would you like to see the 37-year-old St. Pierre fight next?