The UFC reportedly wanted a lightweight tournament with Nurmagomedov fighting McGregor in the fall and St-Pierre vs Diaz in August, with the two winners facing off at the end of the year. The GSP-Diaz bought was cancelled due to GSP’s illness. St-Pierre:
I’m not ready to fight yet. I need to wait until all the symptoms of my ulcer stop. It’s much better than it was but it’s not 100 percent yet. If I try to return for a training camp for a fight it will amplify and go back to what it was in the beginning. I need to get over this first for my own health and safety.
The Nurmagomedov-McGregor bout is impacted by McGregor’s legal issues. However, Nurmagomedov’s camp has also been pushing for a match up with St-Pierre instead, which they call a “legacy” bout.
St-Pierre has been linked with a mega-money fight against McGregor ever since he signed up for a new four-fight deal with the UFC in February 2017. Although St-Pierre says he is well aware of the huge payday a fight with McGregor would bring him, he says he is only interested in fights that will add to his legacy in the sport.
The thing is about Conor McGregor, money wise, I believe he’s the one who can put more money on the table. However, legacy wise, I don’t think he’s the guy (to fight). He’s the main guy; he brought the sport to a different level. He’s the most charismatic guy. He sells; he’s the biggest seller in the sport. If you talk about legacy, if I come back, for legacy, that’s what interests me the most – more than the money. Money, yes it’s good. But if I come back, it’d be more for legacy a legacy match.
St -Pierre responds to the claim that Michael Bisping and Freddie Roach have made that he is lining up a fight with McGregor.
That’s a very ambitious plan. I have a plan in the back of my head, but I’m not going to talk about it right now. The reason is – I’m not a talker, I’m a doer…A lot of people, they need to talk to promote themselves. Everybody knows who’s who here. I’m not a new fighter. They know who I am. My resume talks by itself. It’s going to depend on what’s going to happen and how it’s going to happen when I fight Michael Bisping. When this fight will be finished, I’ll go to reorient my career. But it could be anything, it’s a lot of opportunities…I think [McGregor]’s a great fighter. I think he’s a really great fighter. He’s a very charismatic fighter. He’s the biggest seller in the sport of all time. He’s the biggest draw. But I think now he’s going to fight Floyd Mayweather, I’ve heard, in a boxing match.
Roach says he hopes St-Pierre’s last fight on his contract will be with McGregor.
Who wouldn’t want that fight? I mean, it’s a big fight. We’d have to maybe cut weight and meet in the middle somewhere, something like that, but there’s a lot of negotiations to still happen of course, but yes. Who wouldn’t want that fight? We’ll see. The thing is [Georges is on] a three fight deal, and we have to win and that’s what we plan on doing.
St-Pierre says that, while McGregor is good at attracting publicity, he doubts his fighting skills.
I believe Conor McGregor is the biggest draw for the sport in terms of popularity. But I don’t know if, in terms of fighting, he’s the best guy pound for pound. He’s the guy that makes the most noise, of course, but skillset talking, I don’t think he’s the number one guy. He’s the guy that makes the most noise, of course, but skillset talking, I don’t think he’s the number one guy. But he’s been proving a lot wrong in the last few fights, including myself, I was very impressed. We’ll see what the future holds for everyone.
St-Pierre says Bisping is not good at trash talk.
I don’t consider Bisping as a good trash talker; I think he’s horrendous. I think he’s terrible. He’s not even good at trash talking. He’s doing the best thing for me. The more he talk the more he embarrasses himself. I don’t really care. Some guys, for example like Conor McGregor or Chael Sonnen, I would never be able to get into a war of words with them because they’re just so good. But Michael Bisping, he thinks he’s good but he’s terrible. Everything he says doesn’t make sense. The more he opens his mouth the more he embarrasses himself, so for me it’s a good thing.
White says a St-Pierre-McGregor fight was never realistically discussed.
We were) not even close [to making a fight between McGregor and St-Pierre]. Georges said he could make 155 pounds. But let’s be honest here – everyone wants to take a shot at Michael Bisping. They think he’s beatable, and obviously Georges St-Pierre is no different. So he’s going to step up and try to take his 185-pound title.
White announces St-Pierre will fight Bisping for the middleweight championship of the world later in 2017. Bisping and St-Pierre will have a press conference on this Friday 3rd March in Las Vegas. White:
He wanted to take some time off from the sport. He’s been talking about coming back for a couple of years now.I personally wasn’t a believer, but he and I got together in Las Vegas. We had dinner and got a deal done…He will fight Michael Bisping for the 185 pound title.
On his podcast Anik says St-Pierre vs. McGregor would be the biggest fight in UFC history and bring in more than two million PPVs.
It is absolutely massive. Is that a bigger fight than Mayweather -McGregor? I don’t know that I can take that leap, but it’s damn close.
Zahabi, St-Pierre’s coach, says he wants cross-division super fights.
I was really happy when there was a buzzing of Bisping or McGregor. I thought those two would be two epic fights. One, he would go a little lower, one he would go a little higher. But those are really, really intriguing fights. Of course, Tyron Woodley, he’s the champion and et cetera, but he has his fight with ‘Wonderboy’, and if ‘Wonderboy’ wins, then they’ll have a trilogy. And of course we don’t want to fight with ‘Wonderboy,’ we go way back together. So I think the welterweight title is not really something [GSP] is thinking about right now because of the current landscape.. but there is always the 185-pound belt. And of course, McGregor is such a mega-star that if you put those two on a main event, I don’t think that anybody in the world wouldn’t watch that. I think that even non-MMA fans would watch that.
White says St-Pierre may cut to 155-pounds on his comeback, which could potentially set up a weight match with Conor McGregor.
It could be the winner between Tyron Woodley and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, or it could be Michael Bisping. Georges has also talked about fighting at 155 pounds. He says he can make the weight.
Dana White confirms St-Pierre has officially signed his new contract with the UFC. The news follows reports that St-Pierre and the promotion were in the process of finalizing a multi-fight contract which the terms of had already been agreed upon.
At the An Evening With… event in Manchester, McGregor criticises the MMAAA fighter’s union and St-Pierre’s role.
I’m watching this union thing, it like a press conference, and I’m like, what the f-ck is going on here? They’re standing up, they’re all wearing the same t-shirt. They’re saying, ‘Conor, please. Conor, please, you know what’s right. Help us out, Conor.’ And Georges is saying, ‘Conor’s a good person. I know he gets paid well, but he doesn’t get paid enough.’ And I’m like — what the f-ck are you talking about? The only reason you [St-Pierre] are standing in the middle of that union is because you couldn’t get the deal you want. You’re the fakest of everyone up there…I just thought it was the biggest, fakest load of shit I’ve ever seen in my life. So, I don’t know. I wish everyone well, but you need to focus on yourself. You need to stop putting your hand out. Everyone’s hands are out, everyone wants things for free. You’ve got to put in the work, you’ve got to grind, you’ve got to go through the struggle, and you’ve got to get it.
At a conference call announcing the newly launched MMA Athletes Association (MMAAA) St-Pierre says McGregor, despite being the sport’s highest-paid star, is still underpaid, and appeals to the Irishman for his support.
Even though Conor is the most well (paid) athlete, he doesn’t have his fair share of what he should have. And I’m saying this from the top contestant to Conor McGregor, they don’t have their fair share…There’s something I think about Conor McGregor; I’ve met Conor a couple of times. You have the Conor McGregor that’s a human being and the Conor McGregor of business. The one you see in the UFC is the Conor McGregor that’s business. But the Conor McGregor that’s a human being, I know for sure he knows what’s right. Nobody is a perfect human being, but Conor is not a coward. He knows what’s right, and everybody knows what we’re doing is right. So, of course, we would like to have the biggest name in the sport on board, and we need it.
St-Pierre says he has terminated his contract with UFC, and will now be a free agent.
Aldo claims St-Pierre wanted a $10 million payout to fight McGregor. St-Pierre hasn’t fought since 2013, when he scraped by Johny Hendricks in the last defence of his welterweight title before he vacated his belt and stepped away from the fight game. Aldo:
I think that my life and the whole featherweight division needs to keep going, not being stalled while he (McGregor) does three fights in the lightweight division… Another one that he wanted to do, make a super fight with Georges St-Pierre, which didn’t work out because Georges wanted $10 million and Dana didn’t want to pay it. So he still put him with Nate for the second time. So for me, Dana’s word is worthless.