With Georges St-Pierre vacating the middleweight title due to medical reasons, there really is only one fight left for the Canadian, writes Doug Mattushek.
At UFC 167 in 2013, an era came to an end when St-Pierre earned a controversial split decision win over a likely juiced-up Johny Hendricks. It was GSP’s ninth successful title defence, leaving him with little more to achieve. This, combined with other mitigating factors, saw him take an hiatus from the sport.
But on that very same fight card, a new star was emerging in the welterweight division. Tyron Woodley would earn a Knockout of the Night bonus in the first round, running through Josh Koscheck.
A couple more KO wins for the American saw him get a title shot against Robbie Lawler, where another brutal first round knockout earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
Since, Woodley has cleaned out the top contenders in the division, albeit with two less than exciting wins over number one contender Stephen Thompson and most recently the dangerous Demian Maia.
With the division lacking competition, Woodley recently said he would go up to middleweight to secure a fight with GSP. But with the veteran vacating his title and moving down from middleweight, surely Woodley just cleared his schedule for 2018.
On paper, it makes sense. GSP – the former welterweight assassin – up against the current King who has cleaned out the division.
With the current lay of the land in the UFC, it also makes sense. The way GSP announced his UFC return with a superb performance against Michael Bisping means that he won’t settle for any small fish. As such, it’s unlikely UFC overlord Dana White or Woodley would want GSP to prove himself at welterweight division against the likes of Lawler or Colby Covington.
While GSP hasn’t said as much, the lure of winning a second belt in as many fights must be enticing and the kind of return he dreamed of.
To postulate further, no matter who wins a potential title fight between St-Pierre and Woodley, it does set up the option of rematch between two fighters that are in a class of their own. Is this not the kind of superfight White is after?
All aboard! The GSP v Woodley hype-train is about to leave the station…