Georges St-Pierre to only return for 'great legacy' fights, eyes Khabib Nurmagomedov

St. Pierre not interested in a fight with Diaz (1:55)

Georges St. Pierre says he will announce his retirement when he is ready and adds that he's not interested in fighting Nate Diaz. (1:55)

Georges St-Pierre is leaning more toward retirement than returning to mixed martial arts.

The longtime UFC welterweight champion told ESPN's Ariel Helwani on Monday his enthusiasm for fighting again has dwindled over time and he will only return for "big fights that have a great legacy."

"The motivation is not the same that it used to be," St-Pierre said. "I don't have the same motivation to go to the lineup again and to fight my way up to another title. I'm done with this. I've done it for so many years.

"You reach a point in your career where you want to do things different. That's why this fight with (Michael) Bisping was different because it was a superfight. For me, that's what I look for."

St-Pierre is among the greatest MMA fighters ever. He held the UFC's welterweight belt from 2007 until 2013, when he walked away from the sport. The Montreal native returned last November to face then-middleweight champion Bisping at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. He won by third-round rear-naked choke to earn the title, though it was later vacated when St-Pierre chose not to defend it.

He attributed that decision to health. St-Pierre is suffering from colitis, an inflammation of the colon that causes unpleasant digestive disorder. Though his condition has improved in recent months, it is still a factor in when he could potentially return to the Octagon.

"The big issue for fighting for me is the symptoms of colitis. I have to get rid of my medication," St-Pierre said. "Once I get the dose down to where I want it to be I'll make the decision. Right now I'm not ready to sign a fight deal as we speak. Mentally, I don't want to fight right now."

St-Pierre said there's a chance he could return in 2019, but he would do so only for the right opponent at the right time. He said the most interesting possibility would be against undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who defeated Conor McGregor at UFC 229 by submission earlier this month to retain the title.

That bout would be at 155 pounds. St-Pierre said he woke up this morning at 183 pounds and feels with the right training it's likely he would make weight.

"The thing that excites me the most is when I could be the first to do something. When something cannot be done and people doubt me," St-Pierre said of going up against Nurmagomedov's 27-0 record. "He's a great champion, and in terms of legacy, I can't think of a better fighter right now who has a better legacy than Khabib."

UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has openly pushed for a title shot against St-Pierre. When asked of his interest, St-Pierre said he's not ruling it out but felt Woodley wouldn't be worth returning for -- right now.

"Tyron Woodley, his last performance was amazing," St-Pierre said. "He's doing very well. He's making a big name for himself. To get a legacy in the sport, it doesn't come in one day. It took me nine title defenses to get the name that I have."

If St-Pierre does decide to step away from the sport, he will make an announcement rather than have people continue guessing his plans. He admitted money isn't an issue right now, allowing him to be more selective about his future.

"I'm already set," he said. "I have different companies that I'm involved with. Different real estate as well. In terms of money, I don't need the money. I came out (of the sport) on top, healthy and wealthy, and want to keep it this way.

"The competitor inside of me wants me to return sometime. I want to return as a competitor but I need to listen to the logic as well. It needs to be worth it."