MONTREAL — Fans hoping to see Canadian Georges St-Pierre fight Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov may be disappointed.
The former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion played down reports he was interested in meeting the winner of the McGregor-Nurmagomedov showdown slated for UFC 229 on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas.
"I didn't say I was going to do it," St-Pierre said Thursday. "People headlined me the wrong way, to sell articles. That's the society we live in."
It doesn't take much. After St-Pierre posted a photo of himself Sept. 2, fans noticed he had slimmed down, prompting speculation he could be preparing for a bout.
The 37-year-old St-Pierre made the comments at an appearance to publicize his partnership with Hydrorevolution, a California-based aquatic training company. St-Pierre's relationship with the company dates back to 2011 when he started training with its products after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.
St-Pierre (26-2-0) has not fought since November 2017 when he came out of a four-year hiatus to submit middleweight title-holder Michael Bisping at UFC 217. One month later, the Montreal MMA star gave up his middleweight title and stepped away again after suffering from ulcerative colitis.
Despite being almost symptom-free, St-Pierre remains cautious about his health.
"I don't want to sign a contract for a fight right now," he said. "I don't want to say I'm going to commit to something. The minute I do it, the mental warfare starts."
But St-Pierre did not close the door on a potential return to the Octagon.
"I want to come back for a good fight," St-Pierre said. "I want to come back for a fight that I can win, that I can gain something in terms of legacy. Not only money, but in terms of legacy. Because I have a lot more to lose than to win."
As for his new slimmer weight, St-Pierre says it's due to intermittent fasting and diet. He says he wished he had done it prior to the Bisping fight when he moved from welterweight (170 pounds) to middleweight (185).
"For my fight with Michael Bisping, I was trying to put on weight but I did it the wrong way," St-Pierre said. "I ate a crazy amount of food. I almost threw up sometimes ... with the stress and everything it overused my digestive system.
"Although I was obsessed with trying to gain weight, I should not have done it."
UFC president Dana White previously said that a St-Pierre fight against the winner of McGregor-Nurmagomedov was "probably not going to happen." White also said St-Pierre was "retired" during an interview last June.
"Dana White said I was done before my last fight with Michael Bisping," St-Pierre said. "He does what he does best for his interests, and I do what's best for mine."
Julian McKenzie, The Canadian Press