Georges St-Pierre's head trainer, Firas Zahabi, said Monday that he wanted to see his star pupil return to the cage, assuming the UFC welterweight champion could resolve the unspecified "issues" that caused the champ to semi-retire from MMA after UFC 167.
"I would love to see him fight again," Zahabi said Monday on The MMA Hour broadcast with host Ariel Helwani. "Because I'm a fan. I'm a fan of Georges St-Pierre. And if he wants to fight again I'll be 100 percent there to back him up."
St-Pierre retained his title by split decision over Johny Hendricks, who many observers believed had done enough to take the belt from St-Pierre, who has owned the title for the past six years.
A visibly beaten-up and emotional St-Pierre announced in the cage and again at the post-fight news conference that he would be "stepping away" from professional cage fighting "for a bit." He indicated that the departure was for "personal reasons" but declined to elaborate.
Zahabi followed suit on Monday, though he did acknowledge that the champ was going through something difficult while adding that he did not know how long St-Pierre might be away from the sport.
"I have no idea (how long)," Zahabi said. "I think it's something we'll know shortly. His mind's going to settle, he'll sort out his emotions and figure things out like people do."
Zahabi also said St-Pierre's health was "fine," but did not go into any additional detail.
"Nobody can be in his head," Zahabi said. "Nobody can know exactly how he feels...He's got things to deal with, he's got to make decisions and that's up to him."
Unsurprisingly, Zahabi said he believed St-Pierre had done enough to best Hendricks.
"I think it came down to the fifth round," Zahabi said. "It was extremely close and Georges pushed it and edged it out. In the fifth round, he was more busy...The first was the closest round of all, but I gave it to Georges. He landed a head kick...he was more offensive."
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