Whether or not Georges St-Pierre ever plans to grace the Octagon again remains one of the UFC's most talked-about mysteries.
So rather than wait for "GSP" to make the decision to come back, UFC president Dana White decided the throw the longtime former welterweight champion some tantalizing bait.
During the UFC's latest installment of "The Download," White cleared the air in terms of where St-Pierre would stand in the division he reigned over for five-plus years—in his latest run as champ—if he returned in 2015.
“It would be tough to deny that GSP comes right back and doesn’t fight for the title, you know what I mean? GSP can do whatever he wants. If he wants to come back and fight for the title, or if he wants a fight before that—he can do whatever he wants,” he said.
Longtime St-Pierre friend and head coach Firas Zahabi admitted during an interview with ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto that he and GSP haven't had many conversations regarding his comeback.
Zahabi also said he believes GSP has a few fights left in his tank:
Right now, every time I talk to him, we never talk about his comeback. I’m being 100 percent honest with you. I tell him people ask me about it every day. I think we both just know that there is no answer until he gets back in the gym, in his routine and sees if he wants to continue.
My personal opinion is he still has plenty of competitive juice in him. I don’t think he’ll be anywhere near fight shape until he’s late-34 -- mid-34. I think he’s got a few fights in him but I don’t want to speak for the guy. He might retire and no one could blame him.
Among other less pressing issues, St-Pierre has stated on numerous occasions in the months following his hiatus that he disagrees with the sport's drug testing policies.
In August, St-Pierre got more specific in his criticism by telling Bloody Elbow's Brent Brookhouse that he won't return unless an independent anti-doping agency like VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) conducts tests on both him and any potential opponents.
"I will never fight again in MMA without my opponent and myself being thoroughly tested for the most advanced PEDs by a credible independent anti-doping organization like VADA or USADA under the strictest standards of the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) Code," he said.
St-Pierre was riding a 12-fight winning streak when he took his hiatus and relinquished his welterweight belt following a highly contentious split-decision win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 last November in Las Vegas.
Hendricks edged Robbie Lawler in a unanimous decision in his next bout at UFC 171 in March to win the vacant welterweight title.
"Big Rigg" will square off with Lawler in a rematch for the belt at a place to be announced in early 2015.