Well, not only is GSP back in the UFC, he’s back in the title hunt. Just for a different weight class.
Dana White confirmed on ESPN that the former Welterweight Champion will be moving up to middleweight where he’ll fight Michael Bisping for the Brit’s UFC Middleweight Championship.
“Everyone wants to take a shot at Michael Bisping,” White said. “They think he’s beatable, and obviously Georges St-Pierre is no different. So he’s going to step up and try to take his 185-pound title.”
Bisping will get the mega fight he’s always wanted and St. Pierre gets a chance to kinda make history. Honestly, the whole, “Won a title in two divisions” deal is overplayed. EVERYONE wants to do it. Still, he’d be the fourth man in UFC history to accomplish that feat, following in the foot steps of BJ Penn, Randy Couture, and of course, Conor McGregor. Not bad company to find oneself in.
For St. Pierre, this is about as tough a return as you could ask for. He’s 1. been off for three years; 2. moving up in a weight; 3. fighting the champion* of that class.
*Yes, he’s the champion but Yes, I also know that no one really looks at him as the end-all, be-all best fighter ever, his FOTY win over Dan Henderson notwithstanding.
So, for all those who’ve been doom and gloom, wondering what the UFC would do next, with Ronda a shell of herself and Conor playing boxing/father, you can rest easy now.
“He’s one of our biggest stars,” White said. “If you look at the Chuck Liddell era – Anderson Silva, ‘GSP.’ He was one of the big stars who helped build the sport and helped build the UFC. He never lost his title. He walked away and left the belt. Many people still consider him the 170-pound king – you can’t be the man unless you beat the man.”
Sadly, this puts off any chance of GSP vs McGregor, but it at least should allow the winner of Maia vs Masvidal to feel confident they’re getting a title shot with a win. No word on when the fight will take place, but my guess is the big July show.
I like when fun stuff happens in MMA.
Mike and Matt will have more on this with tomorrow’s episode of MMA & STUFF.