UFC star Georges St-Pierre remains optimistic he will fight at some point in 2017. And he’s certain that a loss of any sort would mark the end of his career.
Speaking to The MMA Hour on Tuesday, St-Pierre (25-2) said he needs to speak to the UFC, now that president Dana White has called off a middleweight title fight between St-Pierre and champion Michael Bisping.
St-Pierre, who hasn’t fought since 2013, was supposed to challenge Bisping this year, but the UFC elected to change course after he publicly announced he wouldn’t be ready to fight until late fall because of an eye injury.
The former welterweight champion is still hopeful he’ll get a fight in, even though he’s no longer certain whom it will be against. He does know, however, that it’s a must-win if he’s to continue fighting.
“I always said if I come back, it needed to be a fight that excites me, a fight that can elevate me,” St-Pierre said. “Things change in MMA fast, but on the other hand, I’m 36. I just turned 36. So I need to make a move soon.
“When my eye gets fine, I need to make a move and I need to make a move soon. But one thing I can tell you for sure, that I’m one fight from retiring for good. This, I can tell you for sure. If I come back and I lose, this is it for me.”
St-Pierre, who fights out of Tristar MMA in Montreal, has spoken about the physical tolls of fighting before. He said he has no interest in overstaying his welcome in the sport.
To date, St-Pierre has spent nearly 5½ hours of total time inside the Octagon.
“I don’t want to hang there to become a punching bag for the younger people,” St-Pierre said. “I do not believe I’m going to lose. I think I’m at my very best. My trainers think I’m at my best. I put a lot on the line and I know that if I come back, it’s because I believe I’m a much better version than what I was and I want to go back to another shot and rewrite history.
“But if down the road I lose, I pass the torch. It’s over. It’s finished.”
Both St-Pierre and Bisping have continued to express an interest in fighting each other. The UFC recently booked an interim middleweight title fight between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker to UFC 213 on July 8 in Las Vegas.