The 35-year-old St-Pierre has been away from fighting since 2013 and is widely regarded as the greatest welterweight in the history of mixed martial arts. He won his last fight in November 2013, when he took home a controversial split-decision win over Johny Hendricks to make the ninth defense of his title.
After that bout, “Rush” took an indefinite leave of absence from the sport and has had an up-and-down relationship with the UFC. The two sides have been at odds over contract details for the past several years and have made multiple failed attempts to come to terms on a return fight for one of the game’s greats.
According to Helwani’s report, the two sides are targeting a return in “the third quarter of 2017”. And the former champ should not have a shortage of options.
He has been linked to many opponents over the last several months, such as UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, Nick Diaz, and Robbie Lawler. Bisping has even come out and said that he was offered the fight in 2016, but St-Pierre declined due to contract concerns.
But now, it appears that the UFC will regain one of the biggest stars that the promotion has ever had. St-Pierre
St-Pierre has defeated every man that he has ever entered the octagon with, avenging both of his losses, and is one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters of all-time. This should also give the company a big boost in star power, something that they desperately need after back-to-back losses by Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor’s absence for the birth of his child.
Here’s to hoping that this deal gets 100 percent done.
St-Pierre has officially signed his new deal and is back with the UFC, per Lance Pugmire of the LA Times. His opponent and date for the return bout are not yet set.
— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) February 17, 2017