After a four-year absence from the sport, Georges St-Pierre made a winning return to the octagon at UFC 217.
In doing so he also claimed the middleweight belt and wrote his name in history as only the fourth man to win two belts in two different weight classes. UFC commentator Joe Rogan asked GSP in his post-fight interview what was next for the Canadian superstar but St-Pierre swerved the question like an experienced politician.
Therefore, we have decided to weigh up the options.
4. Robert Whittaker
If GSP decides to stick it out at his new weight class then he has a murders row of fighters waiting for him; and number one in the queue is interim champion Robert Whittaker. The Australian has been a revelation since stepping up to the 185lbs bracket; winning all seven contests so far. His last outing at UFC 213 saw him unanimously defeat the human wrecking ball Yoel Romero to collect the interim strap.
Whittaker would be an extremely dangerous opponent for GSP; his striking is slick and his foot work is far quicker than that of Michael Bisping. Whitaker also has youth on his side; he is twelve years younger than the 38-year-old St-Pierre. Although GSP showed vast improvements in his stand up against Bisping, he would find it much more difficult to land on the elusive Whittaker.
3. Tyron Woodley
Perhaps GSP will decide he doesn’t feel comfortable enough to continue fighting at middleweight and will make the drop back to welterweight. If he does make that call then he would undoubtedly be next in line to take on the champion Tyron Woodley. “The Chosen One” has defended his belt three times in the past year but his performances in each victory haven’t made him an overly popular figure.
A fight with St-Pierre would not only be the money fight he craves but if he were to win it would add credibility to his reign. Woodley packs the power and is an accomplished wrestler also so stylistically he should match up well with GSP. This is the most likely route GSP will take; it presents the opportunity to regain the belt he never lost whilst also becoming a dual-weight champion.
2. Conor McGregor
Another option St-Pierre and his team have previously hinted towards is taking on Conor McGregor. If this fight were to ever come to fruition it would certainly be the most lucrative fight the UFC has ever seen. Putting two global superstars, both two-weight champions, inside the octagon would be a no-brainer for the powers that be at the UFC but it could be a risky contest to take for either fighter.
A loss for either man could damage their respective legacies but no doubt the pay day involved would soften that blow. It would be an interesting match-up to make. GSP would no doubt do everything in his power to avoid the patented ‘Celtic Cross’ while relentlessly looking for the takedown. This is a viable option but most likely McGregor will have to defend his lightweight belt before any talk of a match with GSP could be taken seriously.
1. Anderson Silva
The final option is a fight that should have happened when both fighters were in their prime but ‘super fights’ weren’t as frequent then as they are today. Anderson “The Spider” Silva vs St-Pierre may not be the blockbuster it could have been but old school fans would certainly jump on board to witness two greats of the sport going toe-to-toe.
Silva is in the final chapter of his career and is looking to only take on big names and they don’t get much bigger than GSP. Pitting two legends of the sport against one another would be a fitting curtain-closer for Silva; it would give him one final huge pay cheque and the opportunity to regain his middleweight belt. It may not be the most attractive offer for GSP but it’s a chance for him to cement his legacy by determining who is the greatest of all time.