Top 5 return opponents for Georges St-Pierre
Georges St-Pierre is without a doubt one of the biggest and most revered fighters the sport of MMA has ever seen. He still stands as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, and is still today seen by some as the best pound-for-pound fighter of all time. Unlike many of today’s fighters who use trash talk to build up and get big fights, St-Pierre just needed to be himself. Polite, slightly wooden and very Canadian, after all, his politeness is only matched by his sheer skills as a martial artist.
Even though St-Pierre has walked away from the sport, retirements in MMA are very rarely permanent, as the former welterweight champion himself can illustrate with his 2017 return to the UFC where he defeated Michael Bisping to win, and later vacate, the middleweight title. His trainer Firas Zahabi previously opened up on the possibility of “GSP’s” return, so let’s go ahead and speculate. Here are the top 5 opponents for St-Pierre to face in a potential comeback fight.
- Jorge Masvidal GOES OFF on Leon Edwards: “I’m going to murder that guy”
- Joe Rogan on the Cris Cyborg situation: “They f*cked up!”
- Jon Jones throws shade at Daniel Cormier: “No way will he…”
- Floyd Mayweather: “The best MMA fighter in the world…” – NOT McGregor
A quick disclaimer is that we’re excluding title shots and reigning champs because, let’s face it, if GSP came back it would be for a one-off, money fight, not a serious run as champion.
Honourable mentions: Conor McGregor, Nick Diaz
These are some of the most fun and marketable match ups we would be able to get for a potential GSP return, but unfortunately they’re also the most unlikely.
While Conor McGregor vs anyone would most likely be the biggest fight the UFC can make at any point, his status in MMA is simply too uncertain at this point. He’s repeatedly made cryptic retirement comments on social media, and seems much more interested in Twitter commentating and his own brand of Whiskey at the moment. Admittedly, a fight with St-Pierre would surely motivate McGregor, but it’s simply too hard to count on him returning to MMA.
A rematch with Nick Diaz would be a huge fight for St-Pierre, and one the the UFC undoubtedly would be interested in. However Diaz seems pretty comfortable in his retirement and has expressed no desire what so ever to return to MMA.
#5 Ben Askren
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Admittedly this fight would be much more interesting had Ben Askren not been recently decapitated by Jorge Masvidal in the quickest UFC finish ever, and what looked like a Mortal Kombat finishing move. However, Askren is still a big name who knows how to promote a fight, getting into his opponents heads and always having a comeback and way to one up his opponents verbally. Askren was a champion in both Bellator and ONE Championship, a big name, and this would be a good comeback fight for GSP.
#4 Nate Diaz
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So while Nick Diaz is out of the equation, his younger brother Nate isn’t. Sure Nick would be higher, no pun intended, on the list if he’d been more active, but he’s retired. A potential match up between GSP and Nate Diaz has been discussed multiple times. Nate’s stock has risen exponentially as well as of late, following his two battles with Conor McGregor. Diaz has now also moved up to welterweight, which would be the right weight class. While the fight would resemble the bout between GSP and Nick Diaz stylistically, this has the added benefit of giving the fight some heat, as the younger Diaz brother is given a chance to avenge his brothers loss. The Diaz brothers are always entertaining, and while not making the most sense, this fight would surely draw in a huge audience.
#3 Colby Covington
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OK, so this would be a fight to make for one hell of a build up! No matter what you think about Colby Covington, weather you think he’s a fun, pro-wrestling style addition to the sport, a tired Chael Sonnen imitation or if you, God forbid, actually like his pound-for-pound biggest douchebag in the galaxy persona, Covington knows how to build up a fight. The contrast in presentation these two have is hilariously big too, this would be an all black and white affair, as GSP is respectful, courteous, and embodies all the elements of what makes this sport so wonderful. Covington is the exact opposite, relishing his role as bad guy, trashing his opponents and it’s like he’s on a quest to offend as many different people as possible before his star power fades. Stylistically this should be interesting as well, with both having strong wrestling bases and this being the kind of fight that would probably see St-Pierre dish out some great striking.
#2 Anderson Silva
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This will, for many people, especially me, be the superfight that got away. When both GSP and Anderson Silva were reigning champions, this was the one fight everyone wanted to see in order to see who was actually the best MMA fighter on the planet. Lately Silva’s career has been far rom impressive, winning just one out of his last eight fights, and the lone victory coming via controversial decision. Still though, this is a fight that would sell, and that mainstream fans could easily get attached to as we’d be seeing two of the sports all time greats finally duke it out. This would be Godzilla vs King Kong, Batman vs Superman, and even though both are past their prime, that certainly hasn’t stopped the UFC from bookings fights so far.
#1 Khabib Nurmagomedov
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Despite the UFC seemingly having other plans for undefeated lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, and the lightweight division seemingly impossible for GSP to cut down to, this is the return fight to book for St-Pierre. GSP himself said that a bout with Nurmagomedov would be a legacy defining fight, and it would without a doubt be one of the biggest fights the UFC could ever book. Would St-Pierre be able to withstand the relentless pressure and wrestling of the undefeated Russian? Could St-Pierre keep the fight standing? How would GSP handle bottom position against Nurmagomedov – and would we se the lightweight champ off his back? There are many interesting questions that would best be answered inside the cage, if this dream fight were to ever happen.
What would your dream opponent be for a potential GSP return? Let us know in the comments below!