When Georges St-Pierre took an extended sabbatical from fighting in 2013 he left the sport on top of the world.
St-Pierre had just completed his ninth consecutive title defense as welterweight champion and had inserted himself into the eternal debate about who is the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.
St-Pierre never officially retired and now nearly four years later he's inked a new deal to return to the UFC. However, there remain questions about his impact inside the cage after so much time spent away from the sport.
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Time waits for no one and since he's been away, St-Pierre suffered a second torn ACL, which forced him to undergo major reconstructive surgery.
Still, St-Pierre was the consummate professional when it came to his training and preparation for every fight and he returned from a past knee injury before resuming his run as the most successful welterweight to ever compete in the UFC.
That's why St-Pierre sounds as confident as ever that he's not going to hurt his legacy by returning now but rather will come back as an even better fighter than he was before.
"I think for me it's time to come back now because I'm 35-years-old. I just finished a training camp that I did to see if I could come back to the world-class level and I feel at the best shape of my life," St-Pierre said in a recent video posted by his sponsors at Hayabusa. "I feel better than I've ever been.
"I feel the Georges St-Pierre now would beat the Georges St-Pierre that was the greatest of the time that used to compete. So I can't wait to go back in there and show people -- including myself -- to test my skill and see how everything goes."
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St-Pierre's return will definitely be one of the biggest moments of 2017 but as of now, there's still no timeline for his next fight.
St-Pierre has been attached to rumors that he may face middleweight champion Michael Bisping in his first fight back but there's also been a ton of interest in a potential showdown with lightweight champion Conor McGregor.
No matter who he faces, St-Pierre sounds like he's ready to resume his career at the top of the sport and reclaim his spot as one of the best fighters to ever compete inside the UFC Octagon.