Later this year, at a to-be-determined date, UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping will defend his title. He will not, however, defend that title against Yoel Romero, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman, Gegard Mousasi, Robert Whittaker, or any other member of the middleweight top-10. Instead, he’ll defend it against former welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre, who will be returning from a hiatus of several years.
While the announcement of this fight generated excitement among some fans, it also generated plenty of backlash, as it deprives the middleweight division’s top contenders – namely Yoel Romero – of the title shots they’ve earned. Bisping, however, is not all that sympathetic. On a recent episode of UFC Tonight, the champ explained his choice to fight Georges St-Pierre over Yoel Romero. His words (via FoxSports).
“I know there’s people out there who are going to criticize this, saying that I should fight the No. 1 contender, guys like Yoel Romero, and they’re absolutely right but I’ll put this question to you right now. If you are Yoel Romero or Luke Rockhold or ‘Jacare’ [Souza] or any of these guys, if you were offered a fight with GSP, I know for a fact that you’re going to take that fight so why shouldn’t I do the same?”
“I deserve this payday. I deserve this fight. Not only to do with the payday, I want this fight for my legacy. I’ve beat Dan Henderson. I’ve beat Anderson Silva. Georges St-Pierre is also another legend that I want to add to my resume.”
Needless to say, Michael Bisping is standing by his choice to defend the title against Georges St-Pierre rather than Yoel Romero. Who do you think wins this newly announced middleweight title fight? Does Bisping defend the throne, or does St-Pierre become one of just four fighters in UFC history to hold titles in two divisions? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/2/2017.