Georges St-Pierre made headlines recently by announcing that he’s contractually obligated to defend the 185 belt, if he beats the champ Michael Bisping, but the latter’s not convinced that will be the case…if, of course, GSP defeats the British star.
One of the main criticisms of the Bisping – GSP fight is / was that the latter hasn’t fought at middleweight in the UFC, and that further, the Canadian never mentioned he wanted to defend the 185 belt. In fact, after St-Pierre announced he was coming back, he talked about his desire to take super fights. A lot of people thought he could be looking at facing Conor McGregor down the road.
Well, recently GSP reported that he’s contractually obligated to defend the 185 title, if he beats Bisping on November 4th. On the latest “Believe You Me” podcast, however, Bisping had this take on that news (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“All that stops Georges from doing – Georges is still in the position of power, much as I don’t like to admit that. Listen, I’m fighting GSP and I have a fan base and people like to watch me fight or people like to see me get knocked out. Win or lose, people do tune in. But GSP is a big name and he brings the huge Canadian market with him and that’s what the UFC are after. They want all those Canadians to start buying the pay-per-views again. From what I’m hearing, pay-per-view sales in Canada haven’t been doing too well lately so they want GSP to come back and they want all those people, all those lumberjacks to start buying the Pay-Per-Views again.
“If, God forbid, he beats me, he has it in the contract that he has to fight Robert Whittaker. But he can retire. He can retire if he wants. They cannot force you to fight. So let’s say he was to say, ‘I retire’ and then say, ‘Hey, listen, I’ll come out of retirement to fight at 170 [pounds]. UFC, do you want to sell all those pay-per-views again, yes or no? It’s up to you.’ So really . . . one would assume that he can really do what he wants. They can’t force him to fight.”
Bisping’s likely on point here. Really, if GSP decides to vacate the belt and wants to say fight Tyron Woodley or McGregor, would the UFC really turn that down? After he’s comeback from a four plus year hiatus and laid claim to the 185 title? Kind of hard to imagine no?