Tristar head coach Firas Zahabi wants Georges St-Pierre’s return to the UFC to be a big one.
Last Friday, it was announced that former welterweight king St-Pierre had officially re-signed with the UFC, enabling his return to MMA competition after staying away from the sport for more than three years. St-Pierre left MMA after successfully defending his UFC welterweight title for a ninth consecutive time against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 back in 2013. The Canadian walked away on a 12-fight winning streak and with an impressive record of 25-2.
Now, with St-Pierre making his return, the former UFC champion’s longtime coach Zahabi would like St-Pierre to have an “epic” comeback fight. And by that, Zahabi doesn’t mean a fight for the welterweight title. He means superfights with current lightweight champion Conor McGregor or middleweight champ Michael Bisping.
“My ideal scenario, I don’t know if it’s still up for grabs, but I was really happy when there was a buzzing of Bisping or McGregor,” Zahabi told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “I thought those two would be two epic fights. One, he would go a little lower [in weight]; one, he would go a little higher. But those are really, really intriguing fights. Of course, Tyron Woodley, he’s the [welterweight] champion and et cetera, but he has his fight with ‘Wonderboy’ [Thompson]. And if ‘Wonderboy’ wins, then they’ll have a trilogy. And of course we don’t want to fight with ‘Wonderboy,’ we go way back together.
“So I think the welterweight title is not really something he (St-Pierre) is thinking about right now because of the current landscape, but there is always the 185-pound belt. And of course, McGregor is such a mega-star that if you put those two on a main event, I don’t think that anybody in the world wouldn’t watch that. I think that even non-MMA fans would watch that. But again, I don’t do the match-ups, I don’t do the managing, I’m just talking as a trainer.”
It is currently unknown who will be St-Pierre’s return opponent, but Zahabi believes it will be an exciting match-up. And while he is not as much worried about the 35-year-old St-Pierre becoming champion again at this point in his career, Zahabi is more interested in helping St-Pierre get ready for big fights that fans would want to see.
“As long as it’s a five-round fight,” Zahabi said. “I can’t picture George doing a three-round fight to be honest.
“I’m not so worried about titles. I think he’s done that. It would be great if it’s a title, but it comes down to a good name that he likes and it’s exciting, and it’s something the fans would want to see.”