Will Georges St-Pierre return in 2016? That’s the question many have been asking as of late, and it’s one that his coach Firas Zahabi had to address once again.
“I personally think, if you ask me my own personal opinion, I think he cannot stay away,” Zahabi said on the MMA Hour. “I think he’ll eventually get bit by the bug and he’ll eventually do something spontaneous. That’s just Georges.”
Zahabi thinks a return of the all-time great all boils down to getting the proper fight.
“I think he’s doing so much in his life, that it has to be a fight that really excites him enough to pause everything he is doing,” Zahabi said. “MMA competition has taken such a huge chunk out of his life, that for him to comeback and put his life on pause again, put all his time and energy into training camp and all that, it has to come down to his management and UFC working something out, working a deal, and a fight that makes him want to comeback.”
“It’s all on Georges’ motivation,” Zahabi said. “But Georges, he’s a very spontaneous guy. I wouldn’t be surprised if tomorrow he calls me up and says, ‘I want to do this.’ It wouldn’t surprise me.”
“Georges has won many titles, he’s been in many fights. There’s nothing for him to gain. He’s got plenty of money. There’s nothing for him to gain other than to do it for fun, to do it for the sheer pleasure. So if he finds something that’s fun and pleasurable, and he’s excited about doing, I think that’s what’s going to pull the trigger.”
Zahabi admits he and Georges don’t talk specifics, but what sort of fight could have him motivated? Zahabi recently spoke about a possible bout against Nate Diaz on social media, and believes that both him and McGregor lost a bit of an opportunity to call out GSP, who was in attendance that night.
“If McGregor had won, he’s just a guy that stirs the pot like nobody else,” Zahabi said. “It could have been crazy if he called out Georges, it could have been crazy if Nate called out Georges. Anything could have been motivating for Georges, I think it could have happened. Nothing happened.”
McGregor and Diaz are reported to be rematching at UFC 200 though, leaving the two polarizing stars out of the equation. Robbie Lawler hasn’t been booked just yet, but much like what his teammate Rory MacDonald said, Firas thinks St-Pierre would prefer a massive super-fight instead of a title bout.
After all, St-Pierre went on this hiatus partly because of being burned out.
“I don’t know if that motivates Georges. Lawler has lost to guys that Georges has already beat. Georges, I don’t know if he wants to be champion again,” Zahabi said. “I don’t know if he wants to start getting into the whole world of defending his title over and over again. I don’t know if he wants to do that, but it’s all up to him.”
When forced to answer just a yes or a no if he believes his star pupil would return this year, Zahabi gave an affirmative.
“I would say yes, if I had to venture,” Zahabi said. “Keep my comments in context. If I had to venture, I would say yeah, he comes back in 2016. Again, it’s no guarantee. I’m not confirming that. I think he’s a motivated guy, I think he’s in shape, I think for him it’s just the fight that excites him. That’s all that he needs.”
“I personally believe he has a lot of fight left in him. He’s so incredible an athlete as usual. He was in training today, his performances are amazing. He is still the best in the world, in my opinion,” he said. “If he chooses, if he feels like getting back inside the Octagon, if he has that right motivation, I think he’ll show the world he’s still the best.”
St-Pierre is now 34-years-old, and hasn’t competed since 2013.
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