After being away from the Octagon for more than two years, former UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St-Pierre is on the verge of returning to the promotion, a source close to the situation told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday.
Contract talks between representatives for St-Pierre and UFC have heated up, with the sides agreeing on most of the major issues. However, a deal has not yet been announced by the UFC.
MMAFighting.com was first to report on this matter.
Members of St-Pierre’s camp haven’t been shy to discuss his desire to return to action. But St-Pierre has been mum about a return date. It’s also unclear in which weight class he intends to compete.
Regarded as the best 170-pound fighter in MMA history, there is speculation St-Pierre has his eyes set on challenging for the middleweight title. Under the right circumstances, champion Michael Bisping is more than willing to welcome St-Pierre into the 185-pound ranks.
“I’d love to face GSP,” Bisping told Yahoo Sports. “But, first, it’s my duty as a champion to face the No. 1 contender. If he becomes my mandatory, I will fight him.”
Efforts to reach current UFC welterweight titleholder Tyron Woodley were unsuccessful.
It’s unlikely that St-Pierre (25-2) will receive a middleweight title shot in his return debut. He hasn’t competed in the UFC since Nov. 16, 2013, when he earned a split decision over then-top contender Johny Hendricks.
The victory at UFC 167 represented St-Pierre’s 12th in a row and 10th consecutive title defense.