Former UFC welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre has yet to declare whether he has retired for good or whether he plans to eventually return to the Octagon.
UFC president Dana White is insistent that his former champ will fight again, pointing to St-Pierre recently gaining medical clearance and returning to the gym. That, according to GSP, however, means little.
“I’m going to tell you the truth, I always train. I started training when I was seven years old, and I never stopped. Training is part of my life, so it doesn’t mean anything,” St-Pierre said on a recent Chael Sonnen podcast.
“It doesn’t mean that I’m going to be back or not. Whether I retire or not, or if I come back or not, I’m always going to be training. I like to feel in shape. I like to feel good in my own skin and that’s why I’m training.”
St-Pierre’s return to training comes after he had surgery on the left anterior cruciate ligament he tore during training in March. While it doesn’t mean that the former champion will be back in the Octagon, if he did decide to fight again, St-Pierre would face a quandary over what weight class he would compete in.
Having become the pre-eminent welterweight in the world, St-Pierre said that he is currently as heavy as he’s ever been, leading to speculation about whether or not he might make a shift to middleweight if he were to begin fighting again.
“I’m bigger than I’ve ever been right now. Because of my rehab, I wasn’t able to like martial arts training, so I did a lot of strength and conditioning mixed with a lot of gymnastics. I gained a lot of muscle mass,” he said.
“I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life. I’m 200 pounds right now. I used to walk around at 188, 190. Now I’m 200 pounds.”
You’d think that would naturally force St-Pierre to consider middleweight if he were to fight, perhaps setting up a long anticipated showdown with Anderson Silva, who is making his own return to the Octagon in January.
But don’t hold your breath on that.
“Still, at 200 pounds, it’s still welterweight,” St-Pierre said. “The guys in my division are over 200 pounds. They walk around at more than 200 pounds. Even before, when I used to compete, I was very small. I have a very large frame that makes me look bigger because I have a long reach, but I’m not very heavy. I’m a small guy for the elite of my weight class actually.”
Again, St-Pierre has already warned us not to read much into his return to the gym, so the discussion about weight class is obviously premature as well, but it sounds like if he ever returns, it will be to his former division of glory.
For now, we will continue to await St-Pierre’s sabbatical to play out… one way or another.