Since it looks like Robert Whittaker won’t be fighting again until 2018, a lot of folks have speculated Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre will scrap later this year, but Dana White still says that’s not the case.
Earlier this year, the UFC had planned to have Bisping and GSP fight, but after the latter announced he wouldn’t be ready to compete until November, White said the promotion was moving on. But, now that Whittaker’s the interim champ, and is sidelined with a knee injury, there’s been talk again about Bisping and St-Pierre fighting. Especially since Bisping hasn’t fought yet in 2017, and because both men have made it clear they want that fight to happen.
Well, at the UFC 214 pre-fight presser on Wednesday, White was asked whether St-Pierre will challenge for the 170 belt next. The current champ, Tyron Woodley, will face Demian Maia at Saturday’s event. Here’s what the UFC boss man said (quote via MMA Junkie):
“That is the plan as of right now: Whoever wins this fight fights ‘GSP,’” White said. “But ‘GSP’s’ people are here today to speak with me, so we’ll see what happens. That is the plan as of the last time that I talked to them.”
After White said that, however, Woodley proceeded to say that St-Pierre’s team is going to ask to fight Bisping, since, according to the champ, GSP doesn’t “want to fight me”. That prompted White to say this:
“Listen, the Bisping ship has sailed. If you win on Saturday it’s going to be you, pal.”
You have to wonder, however, if things might change. If Woodley barely gets by Maia, GSP could call for a bout with Bisping, since it likely would be a much bigger fight. If Woodley or Maia scores an impressive win, however, then that could peak GSP’s interest. In that scenario, the UFC would likely be more on board as well.
The big question is, however, if GSP does get tapped for a welterweight title fight, what’s next for Bisping? Waiting on the sidelines until next year? Or might the UFC tap Weidman to fight him? Even though he’s 1-3 in his last 4 bouts? Or, could Luke Rockhold get tapped for a rubber match? If defeats David Branch in September?