Georges St-Pierre is coming back.
While the UFC haven’t made anything official yet, St-Pierre all but confirmed his eventual return to the octagon by announcing he is about to start regular drug testing by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, in accordance with the UFC’s new drug policy.
“I don’t have any fight yet, but it’s gonna happen now, because I’m getting tested, if I’m getting tested it’s for a reason,” said St-Pierre in an interview with Ram Gilboa on Bloody Elbow.
Under the rules, fighters must make themselves available for four months before any fight. It was a rule that was infamously waived for Brock Lesnar’s return at UFC 200, and sparked even more controversy when it was revealed that the former heavyweight champion failed two separate drug tests — one weeks before the fight and one the day of.
St-Pierre said that he didn’t want a similar exemption.
“I don’t want to be an exception, because I was very outspoken about Performance Enhancing Drugs. It would be bad for my reputation if I would have an exemption – I don’t want to have a free pass, I want to be like everybody else. That’s why I’ll be starting the process Aug. 10.”
Four months of testing would push an actual St-Pierre fight to at least the middle of December, but it will probably not happen that quickly. The right opponent would have to be found first. The former welterweight champ revealed in the interview that he was in negotiations to fight middleweight champion Michael Bisping, but those fell through. Now he’s open to a variety of fights, including a rematch with the recently un-suspended Nick Diaz.
“I could fight 155, 185 – 170 is where I’m comfortable, better, and it is better for me. I could make a super-fight, but I don’t (want) them to expect me to be fighting regularly at 185,” said the former welterweight kingpin.
“It seems to me to me like it’s Nick Diaz that is running for another shot at me. I wouldn’t mind, I’m not afraid of Nick Diaz, I’ll tell you. I am telling you right now: If it’s what the fans want to see, I’m in. I don’t care if it’s the first, or second, or third. If they want me to fight Nick Diaz it would be my pleasure. I don’t mind, I am not afraid of Nick Diaz, I beat him last time, and I’ll beat even worse, I’ll beat him way worse next time that I’ll fight him.”
St-Pierre also offered support for Mark Hunt by saying that he felt like drug cheats should be forced to give some of their purse to their opponents. Hunt publicly demanded Lesnar’s paycheck from the UFC after losing at UFC 200, only to have news comes out that Lesnar failed multiple tests.
“Because a training camp costs a lot of money. Mark Hunt, a lot of the guys when they’re fighting – like me for example, I spend money. You spend money to make money and that’s the idea of a training camp. When a fight gets cancelled because the other guy is cheating, there should be a penalty. The guy’s who’s cheating should pay a purse not only because of the USADA but because of his opponent. Because the other guy spent a lot of money to get prepared – and time.”
For any naysayers out there who think a 35-year old GSP may be too far removed from his prime to compete, he had a sharp reminder.
“I didn’t retire. […] I took a vacation. I put things on pause. That’s how I see it.”