The UFC is looking for a big drawing card at Madison Square Garden in November. Perhaps it could be the same guy who headlined the promotion’s last show there.
Georges St-Pierre told Submission Radio in a sitdown interview Monday in Australia that he’d be open to returning to the UFC before the end of the year. The former UFC middleweight and welterweight champion mentioned both New York and Toronto as possibilities.
UFC 230 is scheduled for Nov. 3 at MSG, while UFC 231 will be in Toronto on Dec. 8. Neither of those cards has a main event yet and the UFC is seeking a big one for New York.
“November? Yeah,” GSP said when asked about the possibility. “There’s also Toronto in December. The thing is, what excites me is what can I have to improve my legacy? What can I do to improve my legacy? That’s number one. And also the money. But legacy number one, the money is there.”
GSP has not fought since defeating Michael Bisping to win the UFC middleweight title at UFC 217 at MSG last November. After that bout, St-Pierre vacated the belt, citing a digestive issue called ulcerative colitis, a potential product of him moving up in weight. It’s fairly safe to say the Canadian star won’t be fighting back at 185 pounds any time soon.
In fact, GSP could be eyeing a drop in weight. St-Pierre said he would not rule out facing the winner of the UFC lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor in the future. Nurmagomedov and McGregor meet in the main event of UFC 229 on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas, so GSP against either one could not happen until next year. He’s just not sure if the UFC would give him that bout.
“I would be interested in that fight,” GSP said. “That’s a win-win situation. It’s a legacy upgrade and it’s good money — it’s gonna be a big fight. Yeah. However, I fought at 170, I relinquished a title. I fought at 185, I relinquished a title. I don’t think UFC will let me fight for the title at 155. They will be afraid I relinquish and I left the division in ruins.
“From my perspective, it’s a very winning situation. For UFC, it’s a big risk for them. Like I said, I’m older. I know Khabib, I’ve met Khabib many times. Khabib is actually bigger than me. He’s a bigger guy.”
St-Pierre, the longtime former champion at 170 pounds, has never dropped to 155 before. But he thinks he could do it, if need be.
“I think I could make it,” St-Pierre said. “I’ve never tried it, I’m not a fan of big weight cuts, but are they gonna let me do that? I don’t know.”
GSP said the UFC contacted him recently about fighting Nate Diaz in September, but he wasn’t interested for multiple reasons. Diaz will now face Dustin Poirier in the co-main event of UFC 230 in New York. GSP beat Diaz’s brother Nick in 2013. St-Pierre said he wasn’t excited about a fight with the younger Diaz and he wouldn’t be ready to fight by September any way.
“Nate Diaz’s legacy is not really an improvement for me, because people, they see me as a winner already,” GSP said. “And if I win, they will say I look like a bully a little bit, because I beat his older brother. In terms of money, it’s gonna be big money, because Nate Diaz is a big name. I need to find guys that can help me improve legacy. Money as well. I’m at a point in my career now that I only have a few fights left if I decide to come back.”
St-Pierre, 37, said he’s not sure how many fights he has left. His comeback last year against Bisping came after vacating the welterweight belt in 2013 and taking a four-year hiatus from the sport. The one thing he knows for certain is that sometime in the next three years, he’ll definitely be hanging up the gloves.
“At 40 years old, I’m done,” GSP said. “For sure. I’m not gonna fight in a cage at 40 years old. I’m gonna be a grown man, I’m gonna be past that. No matter what happens.”