Could the end of the road in mixed martial arts (MMA) be near for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre?
It very well could be, according to his head trainer, Firas Zahabi, who appeared on Canadian TV show TVA Sports to talk about "GSP's" future after his 170-pound title fight against Johny Hendricks on Nov. 16, 2013 at UFC 167 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
While Firas didn't say "Rush" would absolutely hang up his gloves following his fight against "Bigg Rigg," he did reveal that it could be a possibility, depending on what kind of motivation to continue fighting the French-Canadian superstar has afterward.
"George told me if the occasion should retire after this fight. If he still has the motivation for another training camp, it will continue. Otherwise, he will take his retirement."
According to Firas, motivation has never been a problem in the past for St. Pierre and is indeed highly motivated for his upcoming bout against perhaps the most powerful puncher he's faced inside the Octagon.
"Motivation is the most important thing. When you do not have it, you have nothing. Georges is motivated for this camp. He trains well. We need to train and train all day long, it is not easy, it's really something. It takes a special mind to do the ultimate fighting."
Whether or not the level of motivation decreases pending the outcome of his upcoming title fight in "Sin City," remains to be seen. A loss to the former NCAA Division-1 wrestling champion, however, could take the wind out of St. Pierre's sails and inch him closer to collecting his 401K.
On the other hand, a win doesn't necessarily guarantee "GSP" will continue fighting.
After all, he has pretty much cleaned out the division and should he best Johny, there aren't really any new challenges for him in the 170-pound weight class other than perhaps Rory MacDonald, who will also be competing at UFC 167 against Robbie Lawler.
But, then again, the Tri-Star teammates are adamant they will never face each other.
"GSP" could always move up to middleweight to challenge former division kingpin Anderson Silva -- a "superfight" years in the making -- but that ship has probably sailed.
Nevertheless, fight fans should prepare to see St. Pierre possibly compete inside the Octagon for the final time on Nov. 16, an added headline that -- along with the presence of Chael Sonnen -- could go a long way in helping pay-per-view (PPV) buy rates and ticket sales for the UFC's 20th anniversary event.
But one can't help but to wonder, if retirement is creeping into St. Pierre's mind, even if just a little but, could it be a distraction ahead of title fight number 12 against a foe as dangerous as Hendricks?