Reinvigorated St-Pierre wants to prove he's still the best

The UFC that Georges St-Pierre returns to in 2017 isn’t the same place he left in 2013. The complexity of mixed martial arts as a sport, combining numerous fighting disciplines into one cohesive competition, evolves constantly.

Now that St-Pierre is officially making his comeback, questions swirl as he attempts to re-establish himself as a force in today’s UFC universe, at the elite level he previously achieved.

Can St-Pierre compete with the top fighters of today at 35 years old? Will he have any rust after four years away?

One question that has been answered: his opponent. UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping will welcome GSP back to the Octagon later this year in what instantly becomes the biggest fight of 2017.

If St-Pierre wins, he’ll become only the fourth fighter to capture titles in multiple weight classes.

RELATED: St-Pierre set to return vs. Bisping | Today's UFC Minute: details & commentary on GSP's return

In his prime, GSP was a treacherous matchup for any welterweight that stood across from him on fight night. His combination of top-level speed, power and wrestling made him almost unbeatable as a champion.

Toward the end of his magical run – 12 wins in a row (including nine welterweight title defenses) – St-Pierre’s dominance began to subside. Some believe he lost his final fight against Johny Hendricks despite getting the nod on a split decision.

St-Pierre is a founding father of MMA. He is always in the argument when it comes to greatest ever, and his accomplishments will forever stand up to any single fighter’s resume.

Maybe St-Pierre’s competitive fire dimmed four years ago, but it’s back with a vengeance and the former champ is determined to face the best once again.

“I think for me it’s the time to come back now. I just finished a training camp that I did to see if I could come back to the world class level. And I feel at the best shape of my life,” GSP recently told Hayabusa Combat. “I feel the Georges St-Pierre now would beat the Georges St-Pierre that was the greatest of the time that he used to compete.”

Comparing different athletes from different eras and ranking them based on what he or she did in their given time is a favorite pastime for sports fans. Michael Jordan or LeBron James; Joe Montana or Tom Brady; Muhammad Ali or Floyd Mayweather?

Related: St-Pierre set to return to Octagon | Watch UFC Minute: Breaking down GSP’s return | Reinvigorated St-Pierre wants to prove he's still the best

The return of St-Pierre allows for the debate to play out inside the Octagon. The true definition of a “super fight” would apply if GSP and Conor McGregor ever collided. The options are limitless.

When St-Pierre makes the walk it’s always must-see TV. Recharged and reinvigorated, he may be ready to show the world the best version of “Rush” who has ever competed.

Matt Parrino is a digital producer and writer for Follow him on twitter at @MattParrinoUFC


Check out Conor McGregor's final fight before he joined the UFC at Cage Warriors 51 on December 31, 2012 for the lightweight belt. Just like in the UFC he became Cage Warriors first ever two-division champion.
Aug 19, 2017
Watch Ray Borg defeat Chris Kaledes from their bout in 2015. Borg takes on Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight title at UFC 215.
Aug 18, 2017
Watch Demetrious Johnson defend his belt against Kyoji Horiguchi at UFC 186. Don't miss Johnson take on Ray Borg at UFC 215.
Aug 18, 2017
In advance of the most anticipated event of the summer, Floyd Mayweather hosts an International media conference call on Thursday, August 17 at 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET.
Aug 17, 2017