UFC president Dana White on Friday made Georges St-Pierre‘s return to the Octagon official.
While he fell short of naming a timeline or opponent for St-Pierre, White confirmed the former champion’s comeback to the L.A. Times following an earlier report this week by MMAFighting.com citing unnamed sources. White indicated the contract was signed on Thursday.
“He’s back. I’m excited,” White told the Times’ Lance Pugmire. “We worked at it for a long time and finally got it done.”
His entire time out of the Octagon, St-Pierre never said never to a return, frequently teasing a comeback.
He had been in the thick of negotiations with former owner Lorenzo Fertitta in 2016, targeting a return at 185 pounds to challenge UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping. St-Pierre even entered the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency testing pool in August, so that he could be eligible for a potential December date in Toronto. USADA records indicate that he was tested four times in 2016.
When the UFC was sold to WME-IMG for roughly $4.2 billion, things quickly turned south. Negotiations ceased.
White recently rekindled the rumors of a potential return, telling Canadian outlet TSN that he had straightened things out with St-Pierre. Now, he has confirmed the welterweight kingpin’s return, although he had few details to unveil.
“It could be the winner between Tyron Woodley and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, or it could be Michael Bisping,” White said when asked about a potential first opponent. “Georges has also talked about fighting at 155 pounds. He says he can make the weight.
“But I have no idea when he’s going to fight right now. We don’t have anything booked and literally haven’t talked to anybody about it.”
Woodley and Thompson are slated to meet in the March 4 main event at UFC 209, while Bisping is currently on the sidelines dealing with a knee injury. If he emerges at 155 pounds, St-Pierre could find a quick road to a mega-fight with current champion Conor McGregor.
In the cyber age, we all, of course, want to know everything right now, but St-Pierre fans will have to settle for his comeback being made official with further details to follow.