Freelance: GSP Back in UFC: To Be Determined
Canada’s greatest MMA export in George “Rush” St. Pierre’s return to both the sport and the world-leading UFC appears to have been put on ice. The former king of the UFC at 170 pounds (25-2 with 13 finishes, a 52 percent finish rate over nine title defenses) put himself through a test training camp some time ago and was recently called out by Michael “The Count” Bisping for UFC 206 in Toronto.
St. Pierre then responded with a video on Twitter. The video addressed the fact that he had spoken to the UFC’s new owners and saying he’d made peace with Dana White. The two had been going back and forth with White not believing St. Pierre truly wants to fight. “GSP” had even admitted at one point that he was simply fighting to win and had lost his killer instinct (his 12 decision/scoring wins are the most in the organization’s history.)
Even with the somewhat positive outcome of the meeting, St. Pierre said that a showdown with the new UFC middleweight champion (30-7 with 20 finishes, a 66 percent finish rate) “doesn’t look like it’s happening” although “nothing would make him happier.”
The issues with the Montreal native, who hasn’t fought in three years next month, primarily revolve around the UFC’s Reebok outfitting deal (St. Pierre is sponsored by Under Armour), and alleged figure of $10 million that has so far been nothing more than a rumor, and the fact that St. Pierre publicly announced that he was a free agent, which the UFC disputed on the same day he made the announcement.
So, will St. Pierre fight again?
As far as the Reebok deal goes, it’s only during fights and fight week or fight-based events and the fight night payouts. See the recent developments of Fabricio Werdum. Will the organization meet his demands? Possibly. If they weren’t willing to do something, what would be the point in holding him to the contract they say he is still under?
Could he go to Bellator?
While GSP might get to sport his sponsors during a fight, it seems that whatever his cash demands are, even if they aren’t presently reasonable to the UFC, they’d be less reasonable to Bellator. Also, as mentioned above– If the UFC weren’t willing to do something, what would be the point in holding him to the contract they say he is still under? Perhaps this was all just to get St. Pierre’s contract situation moving again.
Tale of the Tape
So what does a St. Pierre-Bisping fight look like? The legend comes in with two years of youth on his side, but three years off with active training is not the same thing as regularly competition. 37-year old Bisping competed three times in 2014, twice in 2015, and three more in 2016 during GSP’s hiatus.
A return could likely be at a catchweight (Bisping fights 15 pounds heavier.) as it seems more likely to see GSP in big name value fights compared to another title run He has a four-inch height advantage according to Sherdog.com, although he gives up four inches in reach.
Prediction: Michael Bisping by Decision