Former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and newly minted welterweight champion Johny Hendricks appeared on the Monday edition of The MMA Hour. Totally coincidentally, the two were booked in neighboring time slots, and host Ariel Helwani allowed them to exchange pleasantries.
St-Pierre, as one would expect, congratulated Hendricks on defeating Robbie Lawler and discussed how he thought the judges made the right decision in awarding him a 48-47 decision victory. Hendricks, as one would expect, complimented St-Pierre on his lengthy reign as champion and thanked him for raising the bar in MMA as a whole.
Then Helwani invited Hendricks to personally challenge St-Pierre to a rematch, and things got a tad awkward. Hendricks reiterated the statements he made at the UFC 171 post-fight press conference, that he would welcome a rematch with the possible greatest of all time. St-Pierre responded in a strange way, though.
"Listen, stick around for a bit and keep the title...if some things change, maybe we'll get together for the title again."
Don't get too excited, though. That came literally seconds after St-Pierre flatly said that he has no plans on returning to MMA at this time.
UFC brass, and likely Hendricks himself, are most certainly disappointed the longtime fighter is greatly enjoying life out of the cage. The welterweight division's title picture is an utter mess at this time, with no clear-cut top contender. On top of that, nobody with a strong claim to a title shot resembles being a true pay-per-view draw.
With St-Pierre out of the picture, there are loads of potential candidates for a title shot. Fellow UFC 171 fighters Tyron Woodley and Hector Lombard both have strong claims to the belt following wins over Carlos Condit and Jake Shields, respectively. Other fighters like Dong-Hyun Kim, Rory MacDonald and Matt Brown could also reasonably be given the shot.
Keep an eye out for what happens with both the division and St-Pierre in the coming days.
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