Alright Alright Alright. Dating all the way back to my first article on My Fantasy Sports Talk, the subject matter was simple. At that point, and still to this day, I do not believe there is one single story bigger than the return of Georges St.Pierre (Sorry Brock). This week “GSP” announced that after a six month camp, he had the competitive juices flowing, or as Rocky Balboa would say, he had some “stuff in the basement”.

Photo: Jon P. Kopaloff/Getty Images
Photo: Jon P. Kopaloff/Getty Images

So here we are, the man that I have always felt is the greatest fighter to ever grace the UFC octagon is back— well figuratively, not quite literally just yet. A lot has changed in the wake of GSP’s semi-retirement, there is this guy Conor McGregor, as Ron Burgundy would say, he’s kind of a big deal. Women’s MMA is a focal point of the UFC, something even Dana White thought would never happen. And we have the illustrious Reebok deal that has made SO MANY fighter’s happy. Obviously I am being 100% sarcastic on the Reebok deal. Many fighters are not too keen on the idea of Reebok handing out paycheck’s rather than there sponsors.

In GSP’s case, he has plenty of endorsements with Under Armour and Gatorade. So there are some bumps in the road in terms of negotiations, and most likely the amount of money GSP could make under the Reebok deal is much less than having TWO of the world’s biggest athletic brands. This is a concept that hasn’t gone unnoticed within the UFC roster, with Donald Cerrone voicing his displeasure as recent as the post-fight UFC Fight Night presser stating that the UFC “doesn’t give two shits about me”. If Donald Cerrone feels that way, how will one of the UFC’s biggest draws feel?

While the sponsorship negotiations could lead to bumps in the road, there are more question’s about GSP’s comeback now that he has decided to return than ever before. In his statement on the MMA Hour, GSP alluded to returning to the Middleweight (185 lbs) division rather than the Welterweight (170lbs) division. The latter is the division in which GSP ruled the roost. For a guy like myself, I have anticipated this moment for quite sometime, almost three years to be exact, dating back to UFC 167 when GSP stood in the Octagon and said he needed to “go away for a little while”. I wondered when, or if, he would ever return and I am thankful that he is.

With that being said the moment I heard he was interested in competing as a Middleweight a few thoughts came to mind. Standing at 5’9, Georges would be one of the smallest middleweights in the division among the likes of Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman, and the new champion Michael Bisping. All three fighters stand at between 6’1 to 6’3. Simply put, Georges is too small for the weight class. For this same very reason I have also been against the notion that GSP should fight Anderson Silva. In a perfect world it would be great, but in the world of fighting, weight classes are there for a reason. Conor McGregor, cough cough.

Photo: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
Photo: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Is GSP avoiding Robbie Lawler? The answer is simple, of course he is. Lawler is the matchup GSP simply does not want and for very good reason. Does anybody remember GSP’s last fight? A split decision loss in which GSP left the octagon battered and bruised within the first two rounds vs Johny Hendricks. Hendricks took some of Lawler’s best shots in two separate bouts. This isn’t MMA math, this is just common sense in which judging those three bouts is the only thing GSP needs to convince himself not to swim with the sharks in his first return fight. That fight could come later, and while I won’t rule it out completely, there are plenty of reasons to besides the matchup itself.

Stephen Thompson is without a doubt the number one contender in the Welterweight Division, a guy that GSP trained with as well, Rory MacDonald. A part of his reluctance to go back to Welterweight could be the fact that he might not want to disrupt the flow of his former division. His return to the weight class could impose on the progression of the division that he was more than willing to leave. But what fight would be available for GSP in his return to the UFC? GSP stated on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that he was very interested in fighting the newly minted Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping. For a guy that likes to stay informed as much as possible within the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, this one came out of left field for me. While I think this fight would easily sell a million pay-per-view buys, I don’t understand the end goal within the matchup itself. Bisping wins he adds another name to his win column. But is a win vs a fighter that is a natural welterweight that much to brag about? In the case that GSP wins, would he even defend the Middleweight title.

There are a ton of question’s that are being asked among the MMA world. Maybe just maybe GSP wants it this way. The Return of The King is coming, that much we know for sure, but more questions loom than ever before, that we know for sure.

 

Ryan Thomas covers MMA for MyFantasySportsTalk.com

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