Georges St-Pierre: MMA future in question after suffering neck injury at UFC 217

A neck injury suffered during his comeback victory over Michael Bisping at UFC 217 on Saturday has newly crowned middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre's future in question. 

St-Pierre, who revealed the injury during a media conference call on Thursday, was noncommittal on whether he'll return to defend the title, reiterating the contractual obligation he has to unify against interim 185-pound champion Robert Whittaker.  

More importantly, the 36-year-old GSP isn't fully convinced he will fight again and is planning to take a few weeks to figure it out. 

"[UFC President] Dana White is going to talk with my agent. They're going to figure it out and we'll see after I come back from vacation," St-Pierre told MMAjunkie. "We'll see what I want to do and where my head is."

"I have no intention of holding onto the belt and freezing the division," St-Pierre said. "That's not what I want to do. Robert Whittaker is in my contract. If I want to fight again, it has to be against Robert Whittaker at 185. That's in my contract. I cannot, for example, go fight [welterweight champ] Tyron Woodley or go fight another guy."

St-Pierre, who became just the fourth UFC fighter to win titles in multiple divisions, also appeared on MMAFighting's "The MMA Hour" on Thursday and was asked point blank whether a Whittaker fight even interests him at all. 

"It's written in my contract. If it gets me excited, I don't know," St-Pierre said. "But [Whittaker] is a great champion. I have only positive things to say about Robert Whittaker." 

Returning from a four-year retirement to defeat Bisping by submission on Saturday, St-Pierre revealed the neck injury was caused from an errant elbow landed to the back of his head during the opening round.

"It looked very insignificant when it happened," St-Pierre said. "It wasn't the strength of the hit. It was more the precision of it. It's not his fault. We're not allowed to hit there, but it was just in the heat of the fight, and it's normal.

"My neck was so inflamed, when I was on the floor, I had a hard time posturing up because it was hurting very bad. It felt like I couldn't contract my head to posture up. After the fight when I cooled down, it was terrible. It was like my neck couldn't move. Now it's still sore, but it got a lot better. I got treatment on it, so I'll be back 100 percent."

St-Pierre also fought off questions as to whether he's interested in a superfight with lightweight champion Conor McGregor, who has ascended to become the biggest star in the sport during GSP's absence. McGregor has fought as high as 170 pounds twice in 2016 during his feud with Nate Diaz. 

"Everybody is asking me this question. I always ask to say why is everybody asking me this question?" St-Pierre said. "[McGregor] is competing in a different weight class. I'm not that type of guy. As a fighter, I don't challenge guys who compete in a smaller weight class. I think it makes you look bad and I don't want to do this. 

"I'm very happy for Conor. He raised the bar for all of us. He does it for himself but he does it for all of us at the same time, even if he doesn't realize it." 

CBS Sports Insider

Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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