Georges St-Pierre's return to the UFC was announced earlier this year along with a matchup against middleweight champion Michael Bisping after the two fighters engaged in a lively press conference in March.
Immediately afterwards, rumors began swirling that the UFC was looking to book St-Pierre versus Bisping in July as the main event for International Fight Week in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, St-Pierre quickly shot that down before just recently announcing that he wouldn't be ready to fight until October.
The repeated delay ultimately cost St-Pierre the fight with Bisping after UFC president Dana White cancelled the bout while saying that the middleweight division couldn't wait any longer for the title to be defended.
Now St-Pierre has finally revealed the reason for his long delay to return to the UFC after signing with the promotion several months ago.
"Trust me, I'm not the kind of guy who thinks, 'Hey, I'm going to make everybody wait for me. I don't want to fight during the summer, I want to take my time. That's not the reason. If it were up to me, I would come back. The reason is I had a problem with my eye. I had an injury," St-Pierre said at the C2 conference in Montreal this week as first reported by MMAFighting.
"My vision has not been back yet. It will be back. It's something very minor. The doctor insisted for me that I don't spar until September."
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Here's where things get interesting.
St-Pierre says the UFC knew about his eye injury when the press conference was announced in March yet the promotion insisted on pushing for the fight in July despite his injury pushing his return back until after the summer.
"UFC knew. Everyone knew. The people concerned knew that that was the case, but they still tried to put pressure on me to fight in July," St-Pierre explained. "That's the reason why I'm coming out public today about the reason why I'm not fighting this summer."
St-Pierre's return was celebrated as one of the biggest moments in 2017 for the UFC as the promotion hasn't been able to duplicate a blockbuster 2016 after Conor McGregor broke pay-per-view records with three fights last year along with the return of Ronda Rousey this past December.
Unfortunately, it appears St-Pierre won't be ready to go until the latter half of the year, although that could give the UFC a huge main event for November as the promotion prepares a return to New York for a second show at Madison Square Garden.
St-Pierre has long standing ties to New York after training in the area for several years but now it's just a matter of finding him the right opponent. Bisping is also out of action right now dealing with a knee injury but the UFC has insisted that fight is no longer on the table.
If Bisping is unavailable, St-Pierre could still potentially return to his old division at welterweight where he could challenge current champion Tyron Woodley. Whatever the case may be, St-Pierre won't be ready until after October as he looks to step back into the Octagon for the first time in four years.