‘UFC Tonight’ on Georges St-Pierre’s Intended Return – “I Never Retired. I Needed Time Off to Get Out of the Spotlight”

Fight Network Staff / September 1, 2016 - 11:25am

LAS VEGAS – UFC TONIGHT hosts Kenny Florian and Daniel Cormier interview former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre about a possible comeback, as well as flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER Coaches Joseph Benavidez and Henry Cejudo. Karyn Bryant adds reports.

UFC TONIGHT host Kenny Florian on Demian Maia’s victory over Carlos Condit: “Demian Maia is like a fine wine. He’s taking it back to 1993 and he did it against Carlos Condit. To make it look as easy as he did, you couldn’t have had a better performance. It’s called the invisible jiu-jitsu. He controls the right things at the right times.”

UFC TONIGHT host Daniel Cormier on who’s next for the welterweight title shot vs. Tyron Woodley: “Stephen Wonderboy Thompson is the number-one contender. He’s the rightful contender for the title shot. But as Tyron Woodley has said, it’s not always about what you deserve.”

Florian on who Anthony Pettis should fight next: “Cub Swanson. It’ll be a great fight.”

Cormier on who Anthony Pettis should fight next: “Let him fight Frankie Edgar, the number two guy. If he can get past him, he should get a title shot. Could you imagine an Anthony Pettis vs. Conor McGregor fight?”

Georges St-Pierre on if he’s coming back to the UFC: “I want to come back. They know the terms that I want and they’ve very reasonable. I guess they’ll come back to me soon. I want to be back for another run. I don’t want one fight. I’ll take one fight at a time, but I want to go for a run.”

St-Pierre on why he wants to come back: “I never retired. I needed time off to get out of the spotlight. People know what happened. A lot has happened. I’ve put my knowledge and techniques together and I think I’m a much better version than I was.”

St-Pierre on what things need to be worked out: “From my point of view, I’m making a lot of money now even though I’m not fighting. My contract was made before the Reebok deal, so I’m losing money if I go back and fight on the old terms of my contract. I’m just waiting to see what happens.”

St-Pierre on if he knew he’d come back when he stepped away: “I didn’t know at the time, but I always felt the fire of the competition inside, but even more so now. It’s very hard to stay champion because the sport catches up to you and you need to reinvent yourself. People say you don’t fix something that isn’t broken. That’s not true, you have to make it better, stronger and build a better foundation. I’m more hungry and that makes all the difference in the world.”

St-Pierre on if he’ll return by the Toronto UFC fight on Dec. 10: “I thought you could announce something for me. I don’t think there’s a coincidence. Who’s the better man than me to headline in Toronto? To get back the Canadian fans and build it up? I will fight whoever you’d like me to fight.”

St-Pierre on who he would fight: “Tyron Woodley, Nick Diaz, and Maia looked pretty good in his last fight. They can elevate me. I’m not supposed to beat them. It’s a big risk. It’s not about having the biggest balls, it’s not a straight line. It’s about elevating.”

St-Pierre on the text messages from Woodley: “I like him, but he’s not my friend. I respect him as a person. He’s great. He texted me and says he challenged me. He said ‘Just to let you know it’s not to disrespect you. You’re the man to beat.’ I said, ‘Yeah, if UFC wants to do it, make the negotiations go well.’ Then went public and that wasn’t good. I think that was a mistake.”

St-Pierre on Dana White’s comments about not having the champion attitude anymore: “He doesn’t know anything about me. I’m a smart person. Let me fight once and you’ll see in the first minute of the first fight it’s all wrong. Let me fight Tyron Woodley and he’ll see. I’m not angry at him. It’s like a game. Let me fight once and you’ll see in first minute.”

St-Pierre on what’s more important, getting the title back or getting a big fight: “I’ve had the title before. I want to fight the big name. The guy who’s champion is not necessarily the best guy. I want to fight the guy people want me to fight, the biggest draw.”

St-Pierre on what’s left for him to prove: “Why would I not come back? Now I feel like I’m at the top of my game. I’m back. I don’t want to end up at 60 and wonder. If I come back and get knocked out, I won’t feel bad because I’d know. I know I’ll be at my best and be able to die in peace because I would have no regret. The things I regret most are the things I didn’t do.”

VIDEO: Interview: Georges St-Pierre

Demetrious Johnson on his injury: “The knee is one of those things, you’ve got to let it heal. I’ll be back training on Sept. 13 and ready to fight in December. This is the first time I got to enjoy summer vacation in four years.”

Johnson on how he gets motivated to fight these guys: “For the paycheck. If you don’t take the fighter seriously, you didn’t take the paycheck seriously. You lose someone and then the zeros on the back of the paycheck go down.”

Johnson on where he’s going: “I stay in the division. If the super fight comes, then I’ll do it.”

Johnson on if he’d fight Dominick Cruz again to try to avenge his loss: “He’s a big boy. It was a tough fight the first time. That was four years ago. I want to cement my legacy in my division. He’s not going anywhere. If the money is right, then I’ll do it.”

VIDEO: Interview: Johnson open to a super fight with Dominick Cruz if the money’s right

Joseph Benavidez on Henry Cejudo: “He’s a doofus. You’re corny. I wish I liked the guy. I think you’re humble and an Olympic champion. It doesn’t mean you’re not a corny, humble Olympic champion.”

Cejudo on Benavidez: “In wrestling, we’re about respect. This isn’t Love and Hip Hop and I’m not going to fight back like a little girl. We’ve been with each other for six weeks and doing this media stuff for two days. I’m sick of it. I’m tired of it.”

VIDEO: Interview: Joseph Benavidez and Henry Cejudo talk coaching, TUF and more