UFC president Dana White stated earlier this week that it is only a matter of time before Georges St-Pierre returns to the Octagon.

White didn’t use the “maybe” or “future” card to discuss GSP.

Instead, he said “when” the former champion returns.

The UFC now has that ace up its sleeve to play if it wants in regards to the future of the welterweight division.

St-Pierre vacated the title last year after defeating Johny Hendricks. Many thought GSP lost the fight. His face was bruised and battered, but the judges scored the split decision in his favor.

Immediately afterwards, he told Joe Rogan that he needed some time off. He didn’t want to use the word retirement, and remained steadfast in that approach during his conference call confirming his decision to vacate the belt and step away.

Now, on the eve of crowning a new champion at UFC 171 Saturday night, it appears White is ready to pull out his joker.

Most believe the winner of the co-main between Carlos Condit and Tyron Woodley will be declared the next challenger. White, though, isn’t ready to do that. He wants to see what happens first.

Could “what happens first” be St-Pierre deciding he has had enough time and wants back in? Doubtful, but maybe.

GSP has been all over the news lately, holding press conferences and scrums with members of the media. He has said, countless times, he is happy and has not set a date for his return.

But why would he just randomly announce it? Don’t you think the UFC would want to make a big splash and have news of his return made on FOX Sports or ESPN like they have been doing as of late? Of course they would.

Some feel St-Pierre has done enough – and suffered enough damage – that it is time to move on to another chapter in his life.

Personally, if he is up to it – and healthy – I want to see as much of Georges St-Pierre as possible. We won’t get another like him, and that is something all MMA fans should treasure.