Five opponents that Georges St-Pierre must consider now that he's on his way back to the Octagon
Wouldn't it be fitting for Georges St-Pierre to come back to the UFC and walk straight into a title shot against the winner of the upcoming welterweight title rematch between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson?
It would be lovely.
It would be warranted.
It would do about 800,000 pay-per-view buys.
While it would be all well and good to see the greatest welterweight of all time get an immediate title shot for the 170lbs crown that he decided to walk away from, it's not going to do the numbers that would justify the money that the UFC is presumably splashing out on the P4P great.
The sport is a very different one to the one that St-Pierre left in 2013 for an extended break.
What once constituted a successful pay-per-view event is no longer the case and, truth be told, there have been only three people that have been able to guarantee eyeballs come fight night. Those three people are Brock Lesnar, Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor.
One of those retired this week. The other is expected to retire by UFC president Dana White. And the last is taking an extended break from the Octagon.
Some time coming https://t.co/GC7PJA07Hc
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) February 15, 2017
WME-IMG invested $4 billion into the UFC last summer and they're not going to be happy to settle for sub-par events, which will be the case for all cards that aren't headlined by McGregor, let's be honest.
They need St-Pierre to come back and start delivering numbers and, if money is key, which it clearly is in the modern landscape of MMA then here are the five admittedly less-than-logical opponents that we feel he must consider.
5 - Michael Bisping
It would not matter a jot whether or not Michael Bisping holds the UFC middleweight title at the time but fans would absolutely adore watching the trash-talking Brit attempt to get under the skin of one of the most composed fighters in the promotion's history.
Bisping has enough of a name to generate interest and the fact that the bout would have to take place at 185lbs, unfamiliar territory for St-Pierre, would intrigue fans enough to force them to open their wallets.
It would be all the better if Bisping was middleweight champion at the time but, for the pre-fight exchanges alone, this would be huge.
4 - Anderson Silva
We've waited long enough. Make it fucking happen.
Anderson Silva is at that stage of his career where he wants to start chasing money-fights and St-Pierre is a shrewd enough businessman to realise that's the best way to approach the fight game nowadays.
Both men are typically one and two on most fight fans' lists of greatest fighters of all time so getting to see the score settled would be one of the most fascinating match-ups in UFC history.
3 - Nick Diaz
If it hadn't already been done then we'd have this at #2 on this list but the lead-up to the original meeting of St-Pierre and Nick Diaz was so interesting that we want to see it again.
Every champion needs a rival and Diaz was the perfect one for St-Pierre just due to the difference in how both men hype fights.
There's also that weird accusation from Diaz that somebody from GSP's camp drugged him prior to their grudge match at UFC 158, which is not overly believable but bizarre enough to make matters interesting in any pre-fight press conferences for a second match-up.
Rematches = numbers so get it done.
2 - Nate Diaz
If big brother is busy then let Nate Diaz, with his new found high profile, do the business.
Nate Diaz is in a whole new realm of fame thanks to his pair of welterweight fights opposite Conor McGregor and he should take full advantage.
There's the narrative of Nate Diaz avenging his older brother's defeat. There's the fact that the younger Diaz is not exactly a novice in the shit-talk department.
It just makes sense.
1 - Conor McGregor
The numbers speak for themselves.
There has never been a more successful pay-per-view draw in MMA than 'The Notorious' and while he would be the much smaller man against St-Pierre, this is the money fight for the Canadian.
McGregor has fought at welterweight twice and put on considerable muscle since his days as a sunken featherweight.
And if you're looking for trash talk to sweeten the deal for fight fans, there's no better man for the job than Mr McGregor, whenever he decides to come back.