GSP returns to face Bisping for middleweight belt
Published on Wednesday, 3/1/17, at 6:53 p.m. Eastern.
Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com reported last week that Georges St-Pierre had agreed to terms on a multi-fight contract with the UFC. Dana White made it official earlier today when he appeared on ESPN’s Sports Center to announce that GSP will face Michael Bisping for the champion’s middleweight strap.
The fight will be later this year at a to-be-determined date.
St-Pierre will be fighting at 185 pounds for the first time in his career. The greatest welterweight champ in UFC history had recently said that he was willing to fight at middleweight or even drop down to 155 pounds.
GSP hasn’t fought since inexplicably being given the split-decision nod over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 on Nov. 16 of 2013. It was GSP’s 12th consecutive win and ninth straight title defense.
After beating Hendricks, GSP announced that he was taking a break and has been on hiatus for more than three years.
Bisping was given his first shot at the middleweight title on just two weeks of notice when Chris Weidman pulled out of his UFC 199 rematch against Luke Rockhold, who had submitted Bisping in their first meeting. But Bisping stunned Rockhold and won the belt by first-round knockout as a +500 underdog.
‘The Count’ has defended his belt once, capturing a controversial unanimous-decision win (48-47, 49-46, 48-47) over Dan Henderson at UFC 204. It was expected that Bisping was going to face No. 1 contender Yoel Romero, but that won’t happen now.
5Dimes.eu opened St-Pierre as a -150 favorite earlier today. The number had been adjusted to -165 as of early Wednesday night. Bisping, who has won five fights in a row since the loss to Rockhold, is a +135 underdog (risk $100 to win $135).