When former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre announced that he was returning to the Octagon, he was slated to face middleweight champion Michael Bisping. The fight was nixed when St-Pierre revealed that he wouldn’t be ready to return until late this year.
Instead of facing Bisping in his return, St-Pierre was then expected to face the winner of the UFC 214 welterweight title fight between champion Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia. Those plans were abandoned after Woodley failed to impress UFC president Dana White with his performance against Maia and the Bisping vs. GSP match-up was back on.
During the UFC 214 pre-fight press conference, Woodley admitted he was skeptical about whether a fight against St-Pierre would actually happen, but had been assured by White that it would. Now that the fight is officially off, Woodley maintains that it was never going to happen in the first place.
“That was never going to happen,” Woodley told ESPN. “My fight played no factor in that.”
Woodley doesn’t fault St-Pierre for the fight being canceled and doesn’t think the former champion is returning for title fights.
“I want Georges to know there’s no shame in his game. I’m not saying he’s scared. He’s not coming back for a belt or to be the best. He’s coming back for big-money fights. He sees a sport in which he helped the pay-per-view model grow and he wants to get on it. There’s no shame in that. But don’t say you’re here for any other reason,” he said.
White heavily criticized Woodley following UFC 214. Woodley demanded a public apology and the two have since buried the hatched.
“For me, it’s about the legacy, being the best fighter and a champion who takes on all comers,” Woodley said.
“I’m going to make more money outside the Octagon after my career than I make in it. But it’s making it difficult for me to achieve my goals when I have unnecessary stumbling blocks like my promoter saying damaging comments about me.”