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LAS VEGAS – The UFC’s welterweight division is in for a big second half of the year following today’s announcement that champion Tyron Woodley will defend the title against Demian Maia at UFC 214.

The organization apparently already has plans in place beyond the next 170-pound title fight, as well, and they include former longtime divisional kingpin Georges St-Pierre, UFC President Dana White told MMAjunkie today.

Although his return to competition originally was scheduled to take place against Michael Bisping for the middleweight title, St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) is expected to return to 170 later this year to challenge the winner between Woodley (17-3-1 MMA, 7-2-1 UFC) and Maia (25-6 MMA, 19-6 UFC).

“Georges and I talked a couple days ago when he was in Vegas,” White said in an exclusive interview at UFC headquarters. “Georges is saying he wants to fight; we’ll get this thing figured out. We’re talking about Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia. These two are going to fight soon. That will free up the 170-pound champion for Georges St-Pierre to return and try to regain his belt.”

UFC 214 takes place July 29 at Honda Center in Anaheim. The main card, including Woodley vs. Maia, airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

Although White didn’t get into specifics about when or where St-Pierre would fight the winner – mainly because the fight result and injuries could have an impact on scheduled – the UFC’s planned return to Madison Square Garden in New York City this November would seem like the most obvious candidate.

Not only is New York just a short trip from St-Pierre’s native Montreal, but “Rush” also has deep ties in the city, with two of his longtime trainers and mentors, Renzo Gracie and John Danaher, working out of an academy in Manhattan.

St-Pierre held the UFC welterweight title for 2,064 days between 2008-2013. He vacated the belt following his ninth consecutive title defense against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in November 2013, citing a number of reasons for taking the nearly four-year hiatus from competition.

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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