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Georges St-Pierre Claims Injury Led Him To Delay Battle With Bisping

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 05: UFC welterweight Georges St-Pierre in attenance during the UFC 196 event inside MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

While most assumed that Georges St-Pierre was delaying his proposed bout with UFC middleweight kingpin Michael Bisping to give himself as much time as possible to prepare following a layoff of more than three years, the former welterweight champion revealed at the C2 Montréal conference on Friday that an eye injury was actually the reason for the hold-up.

“Trust me, I’m not the kind of guy who thinks, ‘Hey, I’m going to make everybody wait for me. I don’t want to fight during the summer, I want to take my time,” St-Pierre said(via MMAFighting). “That’s not the reason. If it were up to me, I would come back. The reason is I had a problem with my eye. I had an injury.”

While he claimed that the injury is a minor one, St-Pierre added that a doctor advised him not to spar until the fall. Surprisingly, the Canadian great also said that the UFC were aware of his situation when they announced the fight between he and Bisping, without committing to a date, back in March. This is an interesting revelation considering that UFC president Dana White originally stated that the fight was likely to take place in the summer and that UFC 213 on July 8th was the event being targeted.

“My vision has not been back yet. It will be back. It’s something very minor. The doctor insisted for me that I don’t spar until September,” St-Pierre said.

“The UFC was aware of it. They knew I couldn’t fight during the summer, but they still insisted on doing that press conference with Michael Bisping. And when it happened, we were not very excited about the idea, but we wanted that fight, so we decided to do it, but then it turned into a negative thing because it took so long,”  added ‘GSP’, who had always maintained during interactions with the media that the fight wouldn’t happen until “after the summer”

“But UFC knew. Everyone knew. The people concerned knew that that was the case, but they still tried to put pressure on me to fight in July. That’s the reason why I’m coming out public today about the reason why I’m not fighting this summer.”

Earlier this month, the aforementioned Dana White declared that the Bisping/St-Pierre fight was off, adding that ‘GSP’ would instead fight for his old welterweight strap upon his return and that Bisping would be moving on to a bout with number one contender Yoel Romero.

Romero has been waiting for some time for his shot at UFC gold.

“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. “Georges St-Pierre was coming back. Bisping-St Pierre – they both wanted that fight. We asked Yoel to step aside. He did. It doesn’t look like that fight is gonna happen now.”

When Bisping subsequently claimed that a knee injury would prevent him from defending the title until closer to the end of the year, the UFC announced that Romero would face Robert Whittaker for an interim title at UFC 213 instead.

Despite what White has said, having placated Romero somewhat, one would assume that the UFC will eventually go ahead and schedule Bisping vs St-Pierre for a later date.

During a Facebook Q&A earlier this week, Ariel Helwani spoke about the fact that the UFC’s new owners, WME-IMG, have loans to finance stemming from their purchase of the promotion last year and that the slow start to 2017 hasn’t aided their cause one bit.

“You have to understand that WME-IMG bought the UFC for $4.025 billion last summer and they didn’t just show up with a bag of cash and pay for the whole thing,” Helwani said. “There are banks involved, there are loans involved, they need to start making some money. And unfortunately for them, 2017 hasn’t been the best year as far as Pay-per-view is concerned, live gates have been great but Pay-per-view not so much. And I think that they are going to lean toward making the biggest money fight possible whenever they can, titles, divisions, meritocracy be damned.”

Under the circumstances, it’s hard to imagine that the promotion will decide to book Bisping vs Romero/Whittaker and St-Pierre vs Tyron Woodley/Demian Maia over the much more lucrative Bisping vs St-Pierre fight.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.