THE much-awaited comeback of Georges St-Pierre suffered a setback as UFC president Dana White called off the MMA legend’s title fight against middleweight champ Michael Bisping originally set this July.
White made the announcement on Fox Sports Australia following GSP’s challenge to Bisping last week to pick a date for their fight any time after October.
The UFC boss, however, had planned to make the match the headliner of their pay-per-view event on July 8 in Las Vegas. With a stacked middleweight division, White went on to replace St-Pierre with no.1 contender Yoel Romero.
“I made this GSP fight, we did a press conference. The thing was supposed to happen in July. Michael Bisping is going to have to defend his title now. We’re not waiting for GSP,” said White.
St-Pierre has not fought in the octagon since vacating the UFC welterweight title in 2013 but bared his comeback plan earlier in the year after lengthy negotiations with the MMA company in 2016. The UFC then gave him a title shot against Bisping in what was anticipated as a blockbuster July card.
Middleweight contenders like former champ Luke Rockhold, Anderson Silva and Romero criticized the proposed bout especially since GSP had not fought beyond the welterweight class in his career.
But with the Canadian icon declaring himself ready only after October, White pulled the plug on the Bisping-GSP clash, citing that the middleweight division should not be held up by the uncertainty surrounding the former welterweight champ.
“Georges St-Pierre was coming back. Bisping-St-Pierre - they both wanted that fight. We asked Yoel to step aside, he did. It doesn’t look like that fight is gonna happen now,” said White. “Georges St-Pierre is saying he will not be ready to compete now until November. Who knows if that’s even the case. It could be next year.”
“So we’re not waiting for Georges St-Pierre anymore. We’re moving on with the division, and Yoel Romero will get the next shot,” he added.