Georges St. Pierre makes return to UFC
NEW YORK — Georges St. Pierre waved his hands as a conductor would to a chorus of “G-S-P” chanted by fans wrapped in Rising Sun headbands inside Madison Square Garden.
“These are your people? These are your people, Georges?” fighter Michael Bisping chirped as he dismissed the rising cheers with a wave.
GSP is back for his people and on top of a UFC card one more time.
But is it for the final time?
St. Pierre (25-2) was one of the UFC's biggest stars and pay-per-view draws during his long reign atop the 170-pound division, but the Canadian star walked away in November 2013. After a lengthy sabbatical, he returns Saturday to headline UFC 217 in a 185-pound championship bout with Bisping (31-7), the gritty English veteran who won the middleweight title last year.
St. Pierre, now 36, left as one of UFC's biggest box office draws, holder of the second-longest winning streak in the promotion's history and with enough stardom to grace the cover of a video game.
Four years later, he returns to a UFC that blew up into a $4 billion company without him.
St. Pierre hasn't revealed any career goals beyond claiming Bisping's 185-pound title and hasn't decided if this bout would be his last.
“Nothing for sure,” St. Pierre said. “Sometimes you win the fight and you could lose and sometimes you lose but you should have won. It depends how it happens and how I will feel and depend on a lot of stuff. But I don't see myself going away for a long time so it's going to be a good match.”
Before his hiatus, St. Pierre lamented the stress of his prominence in the sport.
“I've never been forced to do anything I don't want to in life,” St. Pierre said Friday. “But I felt like I had that pressure from outside, and I was stuck into a pattern. Now, I am doing it and I'm happier than ever.”