When Georges St. Pierre returned from retirement last year to face Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight championship, he felt that all the cards were in his favor.
It was a legacy-building fight, as St. Pierre was moving up a division against a long-tenured Octagon veteran with an established name and reputation. In St. Pierre’s mind, even a defeat against “The Count” wouldn’t have hurt his status in the sport. Of course, “Rush” would go on to become a two-division champion, submitting Bisping with a rear-naked choke in the third stanza at UFC 217.
He later vacated the belt due to a battle with ulcerative colitis, and there is no word on whether the 37-year-old will return to the Octagon again. Recently, current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has begun to make his case for “Greatest of All Time” status in the 170-pound division, particularly after his stoppage of the previously unbeaten Darren Till at UFC 228. According to St. Pierre, Woodley might be in the mix, but it isn’t clear cut where he currently stands.
“The greatest is hard to say, there is also another guy named Matt Hughes who at one point was one of the greatest,” St. Pierre recently told FanSided. “There are some fighters, I’m not saying Tyron Woodley is one of these guys he is an incredible fighter, but there are guys in this sport sometimes they become champion and they have an easier time than others in terms of opponent, in terms of challenges. Tyron had to go through great fighters like Stephen Thompson and his last performance was outstanding against Darren Till. There was a lot of hype on Darren Till because he was undefeated. Tyron just shut him down incredibly good. Tyron is in a good way in terms of legacy and in terms of being the greatest.”
St. Pierre is widely regarded as the most accomplished welterweight of all time, thanks in large part to a 12-fight run that lasted from 2007 to 2013. Woodley’s claims alone aren’t enough to lure GSP back into the cage for a bout against the current champ.
“In terms of coming back to fighting, you have to realize I have a lot more to lose than to win. Tyron Woodley wants to fight me because he has a lot more to win than to lose because if he beats me in terms of legacy, in terms of popularity, he has a lot more to win,” St. Pierre said. “It’s not that I’m scared, actually, I’m always scared when I go fight, I’m scared of everybody but being scared is irrelevant because I’m going to walk the walk if I have to do it. I have to choose carefully what is my next move. For at this point I am with cementing my legacy it is not a straight line. I have to check what can I gain, what can I lose.
“That is why when I fought Michael Bisping it was a win/win situation from both sides. If I were to lose I lose but if I win, I win big so it was good. Fighting Tyron Woodley right now, now that he won his last fight it elevates his stock a little bit more but it’s still not a complete win/win situation for me.”