For a time, UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping was next expected to defend his title against former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. Given that St-Pierre has not fought in many years, and that he’s never fought in the middleweight division before, this booking was met with widespread criticism. Luckily for those fans and fighters that disapproved of this fight, the plan has been nixed.
Though Bisping hoped the fight would occur sometime this summer, St-Pierre recently came out and announced that he would’t be able to fight until November or later. This prompted UFC President Dana White to scrap this undeniably lucrative plan, and award the next middleweight title shot to the far more deserving Yoel Romero.
On the latest episode of his podcast, Believe You Me, Bisping weighed in on this development. Apparently, he hasn’t heard much about it.
“Honestly, it’s news to me,” he said, (h/t MMAFighting.com). I haven’t heard anything about it. I reached out to Georges and he said he hasn’t heard anything officially either, and I still haven’t heard anything from the UFC or Dana White. I know that a lot of people are complaining about this potential delay with Georges, so we’ll see what happens.
So yeah, to clarify, as of right now, no official word from the UFC. I haven’t heard anything and Georges is still hoping for it, I’m still hoping for it. I’ll say this, I was offered the fight twice. I was offered the fight in October and it never materialized. I was offered the fight in January or February and it did materialize and we had a press conference and we shook hands and we stood there in Las Vegas and we talked a bit of shit. So okay, I haven’t had a bout agreement but that is the plan. That was the offer and I accepted and I kind of feel that once a deal is made, we should stick to it.”
Bisping then explained that he understands the UFC’s reluctance to wait for the fall for St-Pierre.
“Maybe they need an active champion to fight sooner. I think that’s probably the top of it. I honestly don’t think they’re trying to put pressure on Georges. I think they need title fights on the pay-per-views, which I understand. I understand the frustrations from their side, just like a lot of the middleweight division are kind of frustrated. They need good title fights on their pay-per-views and waiting until November is a significant delay so I understand that. But like I said, we did have a deal so I’d like to speak with the UFC and find out what’s happening. “
Finally Bisping weighed in on the recent criticisms of Luke Rockhold, who he defeated to win the title in June of 2016.
“[Rockhold] has no grounds to talk. Some people have, to be honest. Yoel’s been there for a bit now. I understand that. Robert Whittaker is there and Gegard as well but I’ve got a fight booked and until I hear anything differently from an official source, I’m expecting to fight GSP. “
What do you make of Michael Bisping’s take on things?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/17/2017.