The UFC have apparently taken measures to ensure that Georges St-Pierre won’t throw the middleweight division into yet further chaos by pursuing potentially lucrative bouts outside of the weight-class should he dethrone reigning middleweight champion Michael Bisping at UFC 217 on November 4th.
Ever since Bisping ripped the title from Luke Rockhold with a shocking first-round stoppage victory in June of 2016, the 185-pound landscape has been a troubled one. Due to a combination of injuries and the lengthy, complex but well-documented sequence of events that ended up delaying the St-Pierre fight, Bisping has only defended the title once since the Rockhold fight. Even then, he did so against the division’s number 13 Dan Henderson, much to the dismay of the top contenders, and that was some ten months ago. All of this eventually led to the creation of an interim title, which now rests in the hands of Robert Whittaker.
The last thing that the UFC needs then, is for the returning St-Pierre, who himself has skipped the queue to a title shot and irked the hungry middleweight elite, to go walk-about after winning the belt. Thus, the inclusion of this contractual stipulation on St-Pierre’s contract.
“That wasn’t my initial plan,” St-Pierre said of remaining at middleweight to defend the belt. “But I understand the UFC’s point of view. They want to protect their titles. They don’t want to delay the defense of their titles, because they don’t want to make people wait.”
At the moment, the aforementioned Whittaker is nursing an injury he suffered in his interim title-winning effort against Yoel Romero and he is expected to be out until next year. St-Pierre, however, says that “when” he beats Bisping, he will likely be matched up with ‘The Reaper.’
“You never know in advance,” said the former UFC welterweight champion. “But if we follow the logic, that’s what the UFC told me. That’s what they signed me for.”