GSP: If I beat Bisping I have to defend title

Monday, August 14, 2017

UFC welterweight G.O.A.T. Georges St-Pierre appeared recently on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour and said if he beats middleweight champion Michael Bisping when they fight at UFC 217 on November 4, then he must defend the belt. There had been speculation that GSP might bounce from a win over Bisping to a shot at the welterweight title, and if he won that, might challenge lightweight champion Conor McGregor in a superfight. Under the fanciful scenario, he would then retire as G.O.A.T. of history.

“That wasn’t my initial plan, but I understand the UFC’s point of view,” said St-Pierre, as transcribed by Marc Raimondi for MMA Fighting. “They want to protect their titles. They don’t want to delay the defense of their titles, because they don’t want to make people wait.”

“I have to defend my title. It’s written in my contract. I have to defend my title if I win.”

“[Bisping] is the fight I wanted. That’s the fight Michael wanted. And I think that’s the fight people wanted to see.”

When GSP announced his return, it was vs. Bisping. However, there were injuries to both fighters, so Bisping was to have fought the #1 contender, and St-Pierre was to have fought for the welterweight title. However, interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has a knee injury and welterweight champion Tyron Woodley underwhelmed in his last title defense, so the original fight was back.

“It is unfortunate for certain people,” said St-Pierre. “But sometimes the misfortune of people makes the good luck of others. I hate to say that, but sometimes that’s the case in our sport.”

So GSP expects to face Whittaker if he beats Bisping.

“You never know in advance,” St-Pierre said. “But if we follow the logic, that’s what the UFC told me. That’s what they signed me for.”

The Canadian reported he is now walking around at 198, up from his old walking around weight of 186 when he fought at welterweight. He said he put on the weight safely with the help of a dietician.

“I wanted my risk to be worth it,” St-Pierre said of fighting Bisping. “I wanted to try something that I never attempted before. For me, fighting Michael Bisping is the most rewarding thing I can do right now.”