A lot has been made recently about Georges St-Pierre‘s desire to return to the Octagon. Until he steps foot in the cage, the doubters will remain, chief among them, UFC president Dana White.
According to St-Pierre, however, the doubters should stop second guessing him. He insists he wants to step back in the Octagon, and would be ready to do so by Dec. 10, which happens to be the date that UFC 206 marks the promotion’s return to Toronto.
St-Pierre even went so far as to make himself available for United Stats Anti-Doping Agency drug testing as of Aug. 10, which would give him the necessary four months of testing to be eligible to fight in Toronto.
White recently commented on The Herd on FS1, doubting St-Pierre’s desire to fight, saying, “Georges St-Pierre doesn’t have that ‘I want to be a world champion’ attitude anymore. He doesn’t have that drive and desire that he once had, and if you don’t have that, you shouldn’t fight.”
St-Pierre, a guest on Wednesday night’s edition of UFC Tonight threw it back at White, challenging him to test his desire.
“Let me fight once, and you will see in the first minute of the fight, what you said is wrong,” said St-Pierre. “Let me fight Tyron Woodley then, and we’ll see if I want to be world champion again.”
So what is holding St-Pierre back from getting back in the Octagon? One, he must undergo four months of USADA testing before he is eligible, but that is a technical hurdle. What is really holding things up is his contract status.
When St-Pierre stepped away from the Octagon three years ago, his contract worked for him. Many things have changed since then. The UFC has entered into a uniform deal with Reebok, which blocks individual fighters from wearing their own sponsors on their fightwear in the Octagon. That is a big sticking point for St-Pierre.
“I’m making a lot of money right now even though I’m not fighting. My (UFC) contract was made before the Reebok deal,” he said. “What we ask is basically, if I go back to fighting, I can’t advertise my sponsor, so I’m losing money if I go to fight under the old term of my contract.”
The amount of disclosed money that fighters make at the top end of the payroll has also changed. For his last fight at UFC 167, St-Pierre led the charge with a $400,000 payday. In his most recent fight, Conor McGregor was paid $3 million.
These are hurdles that can be cleared, but St-Pierre isn’t going to cave to White’s attempts to goad him back into the Octagon by riling him up, which is what St-Pierre believes he is doing with his recent comments on The Herd.
When and if St-Pierre and the UFC iron out contractual issues, don’t expect the former welterweight kingpin to be in for a one-and-done money grab. He insists that he wants to test himself and make another run through the UFC, not just make some bank and move on. And he’s ready to start with Toronto.
“I want to be back for another run. I don’t want to be back for one fight. i’ll take one fight at a time, but I want to go for a run,” said St-Pierre.
“If they make (my contract) right, I’ll go in Toronto, no problem.”