Georges St-Pierre has spoken publicly for the first time since Dana White announced on Wednesday that he intends to cancel his upcoming bout with Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight championship.
GSP signed a deal earlier this year to return to the UFC after a hiatus dating back to 2013. His last fight in the promotion was a decision victory over Johnny Hendricks, after which he dramatically stated that he would be walking away from the sport and vacating his welterweight belt.
As he hadn’t officially announced his retirement from MMA, speculation of a return to action in the octagon was rampant.
That speculation came to fruition when the UFC announced that the former 170 lbs king was coming back to fight middleweight champ Michael Bisping for the 185 lbs title. However, although an entertaining press conference was held in March with St-Pierre and Bisping both in attendance, a date for the fight was still to be confirmed.
Questions lingered as to why there had not been a date set for what would undoubtedly be one of the biggest UFC fights of the year. It was widely renowned that Dana White and co. were keen to have the bout headline the massive UFC 213 card in Vegas in July, international fight week. Bisping is in the process of recovering from a knee surgery but would have been fit to fight in July, where as GSP had a message for his British counterpart.
“I can fight you anytime after October. Let’s get it on!”
— Georges St-Pierre (@GeorgesStPierre) May 5, 2017
With October being too far away, the matchmakers at UFC headquarters decided this week that the middleweight division can not be held up any longer waiting for the Canadian to finish his sabbatical from the octagon. It would have been over a year since Bisping last defended his strap if GSP had his way.
The 35-year-old has been pictured looking well out of shape, perhaps in an effort to bulk up for the step-up in weight class.
— Josh Hercules (@Joshfh1785) April 26, 2017
On Wednesday, Dana White told Fox Sports Australia that he was scrapping the fight, stating they can not wait any longer for GSP to come back.
“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.”
With number one contender in the division, Yoel Romero now touted to get his deserved crack at the title, St-Pierre gave his thoughts on this week’s unfoldings to MMAFighting.com
“I want to fight Bisping and I think Bisping wants to fight me.
I just learned the news. I don’t know what to say. It might be an emotional response by Dana or maybe it’s to put pressure on me.”
On the prospect of Yoel Romero leap-frogging him to get at Bisping should he not be ready in time, he proceeded to remain coy and appeared almost understanding:
“In this sport, among fighters, when one fighter gets an opportunity, it always leaves more fighters unhappy than happy.
“It’s the nature of a one-man sport. I’ve been there.”
St-Pierre has still not officially been made aware of the cancellation of the bout, which leaves this whole situation still hanging in the balance. Surely it can’t be that difficult to agree on a date for these two to throw down that appeases everyone!