“Georges just finished his surgery and it went extremely well,” Zahabi told MMAjunkie. “His spirits are very good. His pain is already gone and before around this time he was having a lot of pain. This time he’s more mentally ready, he’s done this surgery before, he’s very optimistic.”
The recovery time and rehabilitation needed for an ACL surgery is hardly a cakewalk. However, Zahabi believes St-Pierre’s forced absence from training will spark his motivation to step back in the octagon one day.
“I think this injury, because he’s going to be away from training for so long, could cause him to want to fight again,” Zahabi said. “When your girlfriend dumps you, you want her more than ever before. MMA just kind of put him on the sidelines, and now he probably wants MMA more now than ever before. It’s the way it is – it’s human nature.”
If St-Pierre can recover in full, a return to the UFC would be a monumental event for the sport. It’s likely he would be given an immediate opportunity to regain the 170-pound title he vacated this past December, which would be colossal for the organization.
Zahabi sees it that way as well, especially if reigning champion Johny Hendricks is still holding onto the belt.
“If Hendricks defends the belt and it doesn’t change it will be a more wanted rematch,” Zahabi said. “If somebody beats Hendricks, the taste will be lost. To be the champion now you have to fill the last champion’s shoes. When Georges took the title from Matt Hughes he had heavy shoes to fill, but he did it. Now Hendricks has even bigger shoes to fill, and it’s not easy.
“Believe me, winning the belt is one thing, but defending the belt is a whole other thing.
Should St-Pierre choose to fight again, it will be a long and grueling process before that could become a reality. From Zahabi’s perspective, though, a comeback would only add to what is already a one-of-a-kind resume.
Zahabi wanted St-Pierre to do what he thinks is best for his life, but selfishly, he would like nothing more than to guide his star pupil to one last UFC victory.
“I would love to see Georges St-Pierre back,” Zahabi said. “I want to help him win again. One thing that would make me happy in life is I would love to see Georges win one more fight. That would be fantastic.”