GSP Looks to Win a Belt in a New Division for His Return Fight
One of the greatest fighters in UFC history will look to add something new to his resume, a middleweight title.
George St-Pierre will be making his long awaited return to the octogan against defending middleweight champion, Michael Bisping. UFC President Dana White made the announcement Wednesday on ESPN. The date and location have yet to be decided, but according to White, they “probably will not fight” in St-Pierre’s home country of Canada.
“It will probably be in Vegas,” White said.
One of the reasons why the date and venue have yet to be set is because GSP will have to pass all the drug tests given to him in the next four months by the U.S. Anit-Doping Agency (USADA). They are the UFC’s anti-doping partner and have access to test the all athletes signed under the UFC banner. Since St-Pierre has been away from the sport for so long, it is required that he clears all the tests in the next four months before he can sign an official deal to fight a specific opponent.
St-Pierre (25-2) and Bisping (30-7) will have a face-off at the UFC 209 press conference on Friday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. UFC 209 takes place Saturday night and is headlined by welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and number-one contender Stephen Thompson.
The UFC announced a couple weeks ago that they had reached a new deal with the former welterweight champion. St-Pierre went on a “hiatus” after his last fight over three years ago, therefore, he was still under contract with the UFC.
Much has changed in the UFC since the last time GSP fought. The UFC no longer allows fighters to have their own individual sponsors and all fighters are sponsored by Reebok. St-Pierre was being paid a lot of money by his sponsors and can no longer wear their gear leading up to his UFC fights.
“He’s one of our biggest stars, White said. “If you look at the Chuck Liddell era – Anderson Silva, ‘GSP’. He was one of the big stars who helped build the sport and helped build the UFC. He never lost his title. He walked away and left the belt. Many people still consider him the 170-pound king – you can’t be the man unless you beat the man.”
St-Pierre defended his welterweight title nine times before stepping away from the sport after defeating Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in November 2013. He has never fought at middleweight, but opened up as a slight favorite over Bisping according to the Oddessa Line.