On November 4, in the main event of the stacked UFC 217, former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre will return from a lengthy layoff to battle Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight title. Since this fight was announced, the odds have fluctuated quite a bit, and now, some outlets are listing the former champ St-Pierre as an underdog.
In the opinion of former UFC title challenger, current Bellator star, and ever-engaging MMA analyst Chael Sonnen, that is crazy.
“People think Bisping is going to kill him,” Sonnen said in the latest of his Beyond the Fight series. “Luke Rockhold, one of the best middleweights of all time, former champion, Luke Rockhold’s opinion matters. He says it’s not even a close fight, that Michael Bisping runs him over.”
“Georges is now the underdog,” Sonnen added. “That stunned me. I’m not sure what’s different now than when this fight got announced.”
Part of the reason for St-Pierre’s underdog status is likely his long layoff. While he hasn’t fought since November of 2013, Bisping has been much more active. According to Sonnen, however, that shouldn’t matter all that much.
“When Georges retired, he still stayed in the gym, twice a day everyday,” Sonnen explained. “Maybe his intensity levels were different, but when you look at his body, he didn’t gain a pound, so I would be led to believe he stayed sharp. When I retired, I was really done, I wasn’t coming back. I don’t know if he was ever really done. His retirement was even a little bit sheepish. I think his exact words were ‘I’m taking some time away from the sport.’ So he never really brought that into his sphere that he was done. If a guy doesn’t take those breaks then he doesn’t have to work back through those.”
Whatever the case, Sonnen simply believes that St-Pierre is far to good to be an underdog.
“I’m not presenting a winner for you,” he said. “What I’m presenting is for you is that it has surprised me [that St-Pierre is an underdog]. I know both of these guys. I’ve worked out with Georges, I’ve competed with Bisping. I know these guys, I have a little bit different feel, and it has stunned me that BetDSI, the industry leader for gaming, now has Georges as an underdog. The guy was the world champion last time you saw him with his shirt off, wearing four-ounce gloves. All of the sudden he’s the underdog.”
What do you think of Chael Sonnen’s Georges St-Pierre vs. Michael Bisping breakdown?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/19/2017.