UFC 217’s main event, a middleweight title fight between champ Michael Bisping and challenger Georges St-Pierre, seems to have the world divided. There are some members of the combat sports community who believe Bisping will come out on top. Others are convinced St-Pierre will win. File current Bellator star Chael Sonnen into the latter category.
“I like that fight,” Sonnen said on the latest episode of BJ Penn Radio. “I am picking Georges in that fight, but I really like it. I’ve competed with Bisping twice myself, once in MMA and once in grappling. Tough sonofa bitch. I’ve only trained with Georges, so maybe I come to you with a little different perspective, but it appears a lot of what’s being said about this fight is Bisping’s size. Anytime you talk about size, what you’re really talking about is, the [bigger] guy is stronger, right? We don’t really care about who weighs more, we care about who’s stronger than who. This is a weird one because Bisping is meaningfully bigger. He will cut to make 185, he will get into the ring about 200 pounds. Georges St-Pierre will weigh in about 183 pounds, he will get in the ring at 183 pounds. However – this might surprise you – Georges is meaningfully, meaningfully stronger than Bisping.”
“Georges is one of the strongest people I’ve ever grabbed ahold of,” Sonnen continued. “He’s got almost unexplainable strength, and particularly for his size. So, that whole who’s bigger thing kind of goes out the window, when you have the longer narrative that the smaller guy, surprisingly, is going to be stronger.”
“This is a case where the bigger guy is weaker – and Bisping’s not a weak man. Bisping’s a stud. But Georges likes the matchup. Georges wasn’t planning on coming back, and he sure wasn’t planning on coming back to middleweight, but insert Michael Bisping as the champion and all of the sudden Georges says ‘wait a minute, I’m the best wrestler in the history of MMA taking on a guy from a country that doesn’t even have a wrestling program. I like this matchup.’ I don’t think he likes himself versus [Yoel] Romero or himself versus Jacare [Souza], I think he likes this specific matchup. Now guys have liked matchups before and been wrong. They get carried out of the ring and they’re embarrassed…. It happens all the time, and it could happen to Georges. But if you’re asking me, with my experience – and I know both of them – I like Georges.”
What do you think of Chael Sonnen’s prediction for the UFC 217 main event?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/26/2017.