While it remains to be seen if the UFC goes with Robbie Lawler-Johny Hendricks III, for its next welterweight title fight, it would be interesting to see how the return of Georges St-Pierre would impact their plans.
Of course, no one knows yet whether the former champ will return to the Octagon in 2015, but if GSP does, Dana White has already said he’d grant the Canadian star an immediate title shot. That seems fair, considering he’s the dude who held the belt from 2007 through 2013…
Recently the UFC’s Managing Director for UFC Operations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Tom Wright, appeared on “The MMA Hour”, and when asked about the possibility of St-Pierre returning, he stated (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“I don’t have any inside information, but I’m pretty confident that he will. I’m really hopeful that he does for a bunch of reasons. For himself, first and foremost, because I think he wants to be able to perhaps accomplish some unfinished business. I think that when you’re an elite world class championship athlete like he is, it’s tough to walk away from the sport. He’s a competitor, he loves our sport, and he loves to compete, so … in the end it’s going to be his call, but I’m really hopeful that it happens.”
It seems like a lot of people believe GSP will return to fighting in the coming months, despite the fact “Rush” hasn’t made any statements that he will be. What the 33 year-old has said is that he needs to assess where he’s at after training for a while, following the knee surgery he underwent earlier this year.
Wright also attended UFC 181 this past weekend, and the UFC exec offered this take on what went down between Hendricks and Lawler, while discussing Rory MacDonald’s title shot prospects:
“Listen I’d love to see it happen, but you know, I watched [Lawler-Hendricks 2]. I was in Mandalay Bay on Saturday night just as well as you, and it’s interesting, I actually scored it for Johny. But in the end, it happens. We always say this, don’t leave it in the hands of the judges. It was a close fight, Lawler really came on strongly as you know, so the quick answer is: in the end, I’m not the matchmaker and I think at some juncture we’ll have to decide whether or not there’s a rematch or a trilogy, and when Rory will get his opportunity.”
A lot of people are waiting to see what direction the UFC goes. While many fans are calling for a third, Lawler-Hendricks scrap, it wouldn’t be that surprising if the UFC offered MacDonald the next title shot either.
Or, what if Lawler decides he needs to take an extended break after having a four fight, campaign? Would the UFC think about Hendricks-MacDonald?