THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/23: GSP says today’s version of himself will beat prior versions and he’s ready to shine (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

George St. Pierre (photo by Jason Silva © USA Today Sports)

Less than a week after news broke that Georges St-Pierre was finally returning to UFC, he spoke officially for the first time regarding his comeback.

In a video posted to the Hayabusa Philippines Instagram account, GSP shared his thoughts on returning to UFC and he thinks he’s in the best shape he’s ever been in. “I just finished a training camp that I did to see if I was at a world-class level,” he said, sitting in front of a Hayabusa banner. “And I feel at the best that shape of my life, better than I’ve ever done.

Not only does the former UFC Welterweight Champion feel great, he feels that he can outdo his old self in the cage as well. “The Georges St. Pierre now would beat the Georges St. Pierre that was the greatest of the time,” he said. “So I can’t wait to go back in there and show the people, including myself, to test my skill and see how everything goes.”

We will get to see how everything goes sometime this year. All that’s left to determine is where and when, and of course against who.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: It’s no surprise that GSP is talking the way he is right now. He’s supposed to say that he’s feeling great and that he’s going to be better than ever in the cage. Reading between the lines, when he says in the video that “It’s a good time to come back now because I’m 35 years old,” that is probably the truest statement he says. He probably didn’t expect to be out of action nearly four years when he stepped away after UFC 167 so he probably knows that he is aging and that his skills are going to start to diminish at 35 years old if they haven’t already.

Also notable is that he’s making his statement on a sponsor’s social media account, not on a UFC or UFC sponsor account. Sponsorship was often cited as one of the hangups in getting GSP back in the fold earlier and while fighters are free to maintain sponsorships outside of fight week and official UFC appearances, it is notable that he made the announcement with Hayabusa. It will be interesting to see if GSP’s sponsorship presence is different than the status quo as his fight draws closer.


-There was a media conference call to promote UFC 209 this afternoon. Audio of the call can be heard HERE.

UFC officially announced a Strawweight Title fight between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Jessica Andrade for UFC 211 on May 13 from Dallas.

UFC also announced that they will be running a show in Singapore on June 17.

Sunday’s UFC Fight Night show from Halifax, N.S. on FS1 averaged 907,000 viewers for the main card. Despite the earlier start time, the show still peaked at just over 1 million viewers on Spike TV for the Johny Hendricks-Hector Lombard fight second from the top. Bellator on Saturday night did 807,000 for the show that was supposed to be headlined by Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione before Mitrione fell ill with kidney stones.

-UFC released a statement after Ian McCall disclosed on Joe Rogan’s podcast that he had been given IV treatment after UFC 208 weigh-ins earlier this month but before he had been removed from his scheduled fight. The statement sent to MMA Fighting reads:

UFC was aware of the situation regarding Ian McCall in advance of UFC 208, and his need to receive treatment for an acute medical condition via a prohibited method under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. Prior to McCall receiving treatment, UFC was in communication with USADA and the New York State Athletic Commission regarding his condition. McCall has since submitted a retroactive therapeutic use exemption request to USADA – who is responsible for reviewing the use of any prohibited substance or method during the course of medical treatment.

Under the UFC Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) Policy, to receive approval of a TUE, athletes must submit medical records demonstrating a verifiable medical diagnosis and legitimate medical need for the requested medication or method in accordance with the applicable guidelines. Further, it must be determined that the athlete pursued and exhausted all non-prohibited alternatives to treat his condition and would return the athlete to a normal state of health without providing a performance-enhancing benefit.

-Roy Jones Jr. is lobbying to have a fight between himself and Anderson Silva serve as the co-main event for a potential Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor bout.-Bellator and BAMMA are co-promoting an event from Belfast, Ireland tomorrow headlined by Liam McGeary taking on last minute replacement Brett McDermott. The BAMMA portion is set to be headlined by Norman Parke taking on Paul Redmond for the promotion’s vacant lightweight championship. Parke missed weight so will now be ineligible to win the title but Redmond made weight and is still taking the fight and will become champion if he wins. Check out our own Michael Grocke’s preview of tomorrow’s show.


-Albert Morales vs. Andre Soukhamthath and Cynthia Calvillo vs. Amanda Cooper have been added to UFC 209 on March 4 from Las Vegas.

-Andrew Holbrook vs. Gregor Gillespie at UFC 210 on April 8 from Buffalo.

-Cindy Dandois vs. Alexis Davis at UFC Fight Night Nashville on April 22.


Watch Stephen Thompson earn his original title match with Tyron Woodley in his fight with Rory MacDonald from last June HERE.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/22: Ronda Rousey’s next appearance won’t be in an UFC Octagon, Yamasaki on slow stoppage (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)


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