UFC chief Dana White has confirmed Georges St-Pierre will face the winner of the welterweight title fight between Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia.
Woodley will defend the strap at UFC 214 in what promises to be a fascinating contest. And the winner of the showdown looks poised to take on St-Pierre in what'll be his first professional bout since November 2013.
"Georges is saying he wants to fight; we'll get this thing figured out," White said, per Mike Bohn and John Morgan of MMA Fighting. "We're talking about Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia. These two are going to fight soon. That will free up the 170-pound champion for Georges St-Pierre to return and try to regain his belt."
As noted by MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, the fight between Maia and Woodley has been squeezed in at UFC 214 with a potential meeting with St-Pierre in mind:
Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani
UFC rushed to do Woodley-Maia in July so they could have winner fight GSP at MSG. 214 is amazing, but I feel for Maia: deserved more time.2017-6-28 23:19:43
The man known as GSP was initially set to face Michael Bisping, the middleweight champion, on his return to action. However, as reported by Damon Martin of Fox Sports, Bisping revealed he was suffering with a knee problem.
The turn of events means St-Pierre is now poised to get a title shot in the division he dominated for so long.
GSP’s last outing in the UFC came in a controversial split decision win over Johny Hendricks; it was his ninth successful title defence in a row having won the belt against Matt Serra in 2008.
The return of the Canadian has been hotly anticipated since his self-imposed hiatus. At 36, it’s going to be fascinating to see whether one of the most accomplished fighters the sport has ever seen can cope with being tossed back in at the deep end.
Woodley won the belt with a dazzling display against Robbie Lawler last year. After a majority draw against Stephen Thompson at UFC 205, he beat Thompson via a majority decision at UFC 209.
Maia is on a seven-fight win streak, with his most recent coming over Jorge Masvidal on May 13 at UFC 211.