Georges St-Pierre will return to action before 2024.
The grappling world will be treated to one of combat sports’ all-time best in Dec. 2023. It was recently announced that St-Pierre will participate in a UFC Fight Pass Invitational event to close out the year.
No opponent for St-Pierre was revealed along with the initial news of the legend’s return. However, options are now starting to be narrowed down, according to the former Welterweight and Middleweight champion.
“I got some names now that came out and apparently, most of the fans, the UFC, they really want — they would like me to grapple against Nick Diaz,” St-Pierre told Michael Bisping. “That’s the name that comes back more often.”
The dream match up that’s floated around the mixed martial arts (MMA) sphere since each retired has been St-Pierre against former UFC Lightweight kingpin, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Unfortunately, any rumors of Nurmagomedov potentially returning to take on St-Pierre have no truth behind them.
“I think it was just the fans that were excited about it because the fight never happened,” St-Pierre said. “I think he’s retired, Khabib. The No. 1 choice for UFC was Nick Diaz because the UFC Fight Pass Invitational, they know I’m no longer competing to try and be the best. Grappling, it’s a very specialized sport. Mixed martial arts, it’s more complete. There is less rules. Grappling is a more specialized sport. It doesn’t mean if you’re a great mixed martial arts fighter that you’ll be a good grappler and vice versa.
“It’s something new for me,” he continued. “I’ve competed before in the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) a long time ago but this is truly something different. It’s a different form of competition, different form of combat sports, so I will need the time to adapt.”
A St-Pierre vs. Diaz encounter would be a combat sports rematch from their UFC 158 title tilt in March 2013. As one of St-Pierre’s more bitter rivals in his career, Diaz put forth his best efforts but ultimately succumbed to a lopsided unanimous decision loss, as most of St-Pierre’s foes did on his historic run through the 170-pound weight class.
While St-Pierre retired shortly after his Middleweight title victory over Bisping at UFC 217 in Nov. 2017, Diaz made a comeback in Sept. 2021 after a six-year hiatus. Rematching Robbie Lawler, Diaz suffered a third round technical knockout defeat and has since indicated he’d like to fight again.
“My agent talked to the UFC today. This is real fresh news,” St-Pierre said. “They told me that Nick was interested, apparently. But Nick is still under contract with the UFC so he still has another fight on his contract. They would like him to participate in the grappling event to make it big. It’s going to be hosted in a bigger place than usual. There will be other big names in the grappling world like Gordon Ryan probably, Giancarlo Bodoni, and some other guys. It’s never been a better time to be jiu-jitsu fans.”