Just a couple of more sleepless nights until UFC 217 is finally upon us. Michael Bisping will defend his UFC middleweight title against the returning Georges St-Pierre, which is a huge fight for any card. However, even the biggest of fights always have us all asking what will come next. St-Pierre has said he’s contractually bound to fight Robert Whittaker next if he becomes champion again on Saturday. Dan Hardy has another idea as to what St-Pierre might decided to do.
“[Georges St-Pierre] said himself in his contract for the title fight against [Michael] Bisping that it’s in there that he defends against [Robert] Whittaker immediately afterwards. I think that he would, I think that he would take a fight against Whittaker. Against someone like Rockhold, I don’t think he would. I think he would rather relinquish the belt and maybe go for [Tyron] Woodley. But I think alternatively, I think he may fight Bisping and if he wins and takes the belt I think he’ll challenge Tyron Woodley straight away. You know, he comes back, he fights twice, he wins two belts and then he retires. That’s a good gamble in my eyes.”
— UFC (@ufc) November 2, 2017
“Tyron Woodley’s been talking about how he’s the greatest welterweight of all time, and if Georges St-Pierre comes back and loses to Tyron Woodley it does affect his legacy at welterweight. Whereas, losing to Bisping at middleweight doesn’t have any effect on the record books or his campaign at welterweight. He’s still the greatest welterweight of all time, even if he does come back and lose to Bisping. But if he comes back and wins and he doesn’t have to force himself down to 170 with a weight cut as well, you know, a lot’s changed including USADA, you know, no IV bags anymore and that kind of thing. So, I kind of feel like he’s chosen Bisping because he knows he’s gonna get a high-pressure fighter and he’s going to be easier to take down than Woodley, that’s not necessarily got the knockout power that Woodley’s got, and if he loses to him, well, he’s lost to the middleweight champion and he’s still the greatest welterweight. I think it’s a very strategic decision, but I’m sure there’s a lot of thought that’s gone into it.” — Tyron Woodley speaking to Submission Radio.
UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has said himself that he wants his next opponent to be the winner of Bisping and St-Pierre’s title fight. Even declaring he’d move up permanently to middleweight if he won, which opens up tons of challenging and exciting fights. Dan Hardy thinks it would be the opposite. That if St-Pierre has a successful return winning a belt in a new division, he’d go back and stake his claim as the welterweight king once again. Either way, we can’t wait to see how this all unfolds this weekend.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/2/2017.