St-Pierre vacated his title after a slim victory over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 and hasn’t fought since. He suffered a torn ACL in his left knee last spring and has been rehabbing since with the constant question of whether he’ll ever fight in the UFC again lingering.
“It would be tough to deny that GSP comes right back and doesn’t fight for the title, you know what I mean?” White told UFC.com in his weekly interview. “GSP can do whatever he wants. If he wants to come back and fight for the title, or if he wants a fight before that – he can do whatever he wants.”
Right now at least, what GSP want’s isn’t any clearer than it was six months ago. He’s still working to get his knee back in shape, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll fight again. St-Pierre has been very outspoken about a need for better UFC drug testing during his absence and it’s unlikely he’ll take another fight without a stronger drug screening process in place.
Still, many remain hopeful that the Montreal native could fight again sooner rather than later.
“My personal opinion is he still has plenty of competitive juice in him,” Firas Zahabi, St. Pierre’s coach at Montreal’s Tristar Gym told ESPN.com. “I don’t think he’ll be anywhere near fight shape until he’s late-34 — mid-34. I think he’s got a few fights in him but I don’t want to speak for the guy.”
Zahabi also said that he expects St-Pierre to return to the gym sometime in October, meaning that if all goes well and GSP is interested, he could fight sometime in 2015. Of course, all of this remains speculation.
At this point, St-Pierre has nothing left to prove and will go down in history as one of the greatest mixed martial artists ever. The welterweight division he left is now stocked full of talent, too, and any of the top five fighters in the division would be a major test for anyone coming off such an extended absence.
However, GSP has been through knee surgery before and came back better for it, so it isn’t wise to count him out just yet.