A break to most people would be sipping on a Long Island Iced Tea on a beach somewhere and listening to the ocean waves crash against the shore—not Georges St-Pierre. The former UFC welterweight champ has reportedly been spending his “vacation” time beefing up.
St-Pierre has steadily teased at a potential MMA return under the right circumstances. Despite spending time on the sidelines, he has remained true to his otherworldly work ethic.
According to MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani, a beefier version of the French-Canadian star recently appeared on TVA Sports, where he discussed packing on extra muscle and a possible UFC return.
The inclusion of physical specimens such as Johny Hendricks, Tyron Woodley and Hector Lombard at 170 pounds likely swayed St-Pierre’s training approach.
Every little advantage counts at the highest level, and clearly St-Pierre wants to avoid being overpowered the way he was in his title fight with Hendricks back in November 2013.
Throughout his career, St-Pierre has generally held a significant advantage in strength over all of his opponents except for Hendricks. There were times in the clinch when Hendricks escaped bad spots by simply lifting St-Pierre into the air and turning toward the cage.
In any case, St-Pierre’s mere mention of the UFC welterweight division in regards to his training should generate plenty of excitement amongst fans hoping for his return.
Firas Zahabi, St-Pierre’s close friend and head coach, told Helwani in an interview at UFC 174 that the former champ should be more motivated than ever to return to the UFC after recovering from his second ACL injury.
“Georges is doing fantastic,” Zahabi said. “I think [he’ll be back]. I think there’s a lot of fire left in him, especially since he got injured now. He’s probably more motivated than ever, and he was just about to start sparring again before he got injured. I think there’s a lot of martial arts left in him.”
Will St-Pierre ever return to the UFC, and if so, will his bulkier frame improve his chances against the upper-echelon contenders in the welterweight division?
Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon.