UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping and former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre have very different outlooks at the moment.
Speaking on his podcast, ‘Believe You Me’, this week, Bisping expressed the belief that his next fight is likely to come against either Yoel Romero or Robert Whittaker, who meet for an interim middleweight title at UFC 213 on July 8th. Bisping added that this would probably be the penultimate fight of his career, regardless of the result.
“My next fight, I don’t know where it’s going to be. It’s probably going to be unfortunately not GSP,” Bisping said. “It’s probably going to be the winner of Whittaker and Romero. I don’t know where that fight’s going to be and I see myself winning that fight because I see Whittaker winning that fight and I see myself beating Whittaker. If Romero wins, I see myself beating him as well. But I firmly believe that it will be Robert Whittaker.”
“Win or lose that fight, I’ll probably have one more and I want that to be in London or Manchester or the UK. I want it to be in England. I want to have my last fight, I want to say farewell. The fans for me in England have treated me so well, they really have. The MMA fans out there have really embraced me as one of their own of course and it made a different in my career. So I want my last fight to be in England(Transcription via TheMacLife).”
Back in March, the UFC announced that Bisping would defend his title against the returning St-Pierre, but a date was not confirmed at that time. UFC president Dana White claimed that the aforementioned UFC 213, the culminating event of the promotion’s annual International Fight Week, was being targeted. However, in various subsequent discussions with the media, St-Pierre would routinely contradict White, saying instead that the bout would take place “after the summer”.
At the beginning of May, following two months of uncertainty, White claimed that ‘GSP’ had pushed back the projected date of his return to November before announcing that the UFC’s patience with the Canadian great had expired.
“I made this ‘GSP’ fight – we did a press conference. The thing was supposed to happen in July. Michael Bisping is going to have to defend his title now. We’re not waiting for ‘GSP,” White told Fox Sports Australia.
White then declared that Bisping would have to defend against top middleweight contender Romero instead.
That fight didn’t come together either though, with Bisping claiming a knee injury would rule him out until later in the year, thus necessitating the announcement of an interim title fight.
St-Pierre subsequently told an audience at the C2 Montréal conference that an eye injury, which the UFC were aware of prior to the announcement of his return, was his reason for delaying the fight.
However, while Bisping now seems convinced that the fight won’t happen, St-Pierre is pretty optimistic following a recent conversation with White.
“I talked to Dana a few days ago,” Georges told TSN in Canada. “I tried to convince him that it was a good thing that if I come back it needs to be a situation where I have a lot to risk, but I need to have something that I can gain from it. So big risk, big reward. Fighting Michael Bisping, that’s what it gives me. He is the one that has the most wins in UFC history, he just beat my record by one. But if I beat him…I know Michael will retire if he loses. Michael hasn’t fought for more than a year. Me, I haven’t fought for…it will be four years.”
“I think it’s the perfect fight, I think it’s a fight that everybody wants to do. He has been saying a lot of stuff about me, like I was postponing the fight because I was afraid but I’m not afraid. The real reason is the eye injury, I had a surgery done. And if he wants to do, I am ready to make him eat his words.
“At the end of the conversation [with Dana], he said, ‘Look, we’ll figure it out, we’ll see what happens,'” added St-Pierre. “I’m positive, I think it will happen after the conversation I had with him.”
“The problem I have with Dana, my mistake, is we talk through reporters – there are declarations and stuff. So I think it’s good that we talk to each other and we can see where are minds are at and work together for the benefits of the UFC, of me, for the fans – make everybody happy.”