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Dana White knows 'for a fact' that GSP will return

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Dana White says that Georges St-Pierre [pictured] will return to the UFC  (USA TODAY Sports)

Georges St. Pierre has been annoyingly but understandably coy and vague about whether or not he will ever return to the UFC and MMA competition. The long-time welterweight champion vacated his title shortly after a controversial decision win over Johny Hendricks last fall, and took a leave of absence from the sport.

This week, UFC president Dana White told reporters assembled in Dallas for Saturday's UFC 171 card that he was certain St. Pierre would return to action at some point.

"I know for a fact he will [come back]," White said Thursday.

Initially, St. Pierre said that his reasons for leaving were personal issues in his life that he needed to sort out, then that he was too stressed from the burdens of being champion and then, suddenly, that performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and their prevalence in the UFC and MMA was a significant reason as to why he walked away. White went on to say that PED use was not, in his opinion, why GSP decided to hang up his gloves and so Nevada and California's recent effective bans on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), for example, likely would not have a large bearing on if and when the former champ returned.

"That's not why he's gone," White went on.

"He's not gone because of TRT or any of that stuff. He's gone because he had personal problems that he needed to deal with. A lot of that stuff got blown out of proportion. He's gone because of the reason he sat down with me and Lorenzo that night and told us."

White did not elaborate on the "fact" that made him so certain that St. Pierre will decide to return to fighting but he admitted that he isn't happy to have his biggest star on the shelf.

"Is it fun for Georges St-Pierre to be gone? I mean, no, I wouldn't say that it's fun for him to be gone," White said.

"But the welterweight division is exciting right now, and when Georges does come back, whoever's standing there, it will be a fun fight."

Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler meet in the main event of UFC 171 Saturday in Dallas to crown a new welterweight world champion.

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