Georges St-Pierre has long been regarded as the greatest welterweight of all time, but as UFC 217 nears, Michael Bisping is questioning the level of competition the star faced, during his reign as champ.
Now, if you’re an old school / die hard fan, then you know that St-Pierre ruled the UFC’s welterweight division from, essentially, 2006 through 2013. During that time the Canadian fighter defeated legends like Matt Hughes and BJ Penn, and also scored wins over top contenders like Josh Koshcheck, Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz and Jake Shields.
Due to these wins, and the fact GSP defended the 170 crown nine times, after he won it for a second time, many believe he’s the greatest welterweight to date.
Well, at a recent media luncheon in advance of his November 4th bout with GSP, Bisping had this to say about his opponent’s record (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“He’s fought a lot of the same people over that period,” Bisping said. “He’s fought them multiple times. And if you go through the opponents. I mean, BJ Penn, who he fought twice or three times, he’s a featherweight, right? Johny Hendricks, I mean look at Johny Hendricks these days. But still.
“Nick Diaz is a welterweight. Carlos Condit, oh, that’s a good win. Josh Koscheck, Dan Hardy, Thiago Alves — lightweight. BJ Penn — featherweight. Matt Serra — lightweight. These are all smaller guys.”
“…So yeah, he’s great and he’s beaten a lot of competition. But he’s had competition that has been suited toward him size-wise and skill-wise. This is a different matter.”
Now, it is true that during the early years of GSP’s reign, he was considered to be a large welterweight. But, at that time, Alves was also considered big for the weight class, as was Matt Hughes, and certainly Hendricks was too. No one certainly talked about Koscheck being too small for 170 either.
So, it’s hard to say if Bisping truly believes that GSP didn’t really face stiff tests during his reign, or if he’s just saying this to get in the latter’s head. The middleweight champ is certainly a master at attempting to do so.
UFC 217 will be hosted by Madison Square Garden in New York City.