UFC president Dana White announced in February that former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre would return to the Octagon. In March, a press conference was held to reveal that St-Pierre would face middleweight champion Michael Bisping in his first fight back since November 2013. The fight promotion was targeting a July date, but St-Pierre stated that he wouldn’t be fight ready until November.
It was unclear why St-Pierre needed so much time to prepare for his Octagon return until Friday. At the C2 Montréal conference, St-Pierre revealed that an eye injury kept him sidelined.
“Trust me, I’m not the kind of guy who thinks, ‘Hey, I’m going to make everybody wait for me. I don’t want to fight during the summer, I want to take my time,” he said. “That’s not the reason. If it were up to me, I would come back. The reason is I had a problem with my eye. I had an injury.”
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On the advice of doctors, St-Pierre can not spar until September. “My vision has not been back yet. It will be back. It’s something very minor. The doctor insisted for me that I don’t spar until September,” he said.
St-Pierre said that the UFC was aware of the injury prior to the March press conference, but remained hopeful that he’d be able to return earlier than this winter.
“The UFC was aware of it,” St-Pierre said. “They knew I couldn’t fight during the summer, but they still insisted on doing that press conference with Michael Bisping. And when it happened, we were not very excited about the idea, but we wanted that fight, so we decided to do it, but then it turned into a negative thing because it took so long.
“But UFC knew. Everyone knew. The people concerned knew that that was the case, but they still tried to put pressure on me to fight in July. That’s the reason why I’m coming out public today about the reason why I’m not fighting this summer.”
Bipsing is still recovering from a knee injury and an interim title fight between top middleweight contender Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker has been booked for UFC 213 on July 8. White scrapped the St-Pierre and Bisping pairing with plans of a title unification bout between the UFC 213 winner and Bisping to take place when “The Count” is fully recovered.
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