The date has finally been set; George St Pierre is finally making his way back into the octagon and his UFC return is a big one. He is facing off against Michael Bisping for the middleweight crown and it’s a fight that holds a certain degree of personal animosity between the two.
GSP and Bisping had plenty of banter during the summer press conference, but many thought that this ship had sailed. They were wrong – Dana White has set it up and somehow GSP is a massive favourite going into the bout.
We are not sure how a guy who hasn’t fought since 2013 is a favourite to win – it seems bizarre to us, because Michael Bisping is a tough guy who is on a decent win-streak. Of course, GSP is one of the greatest ever too, so it’s not just any other fight. Nonetheless, the champion will fancy his chances and will be delighted to get a money fight after being one of the UFC’s star performers for many years.
George St Pierre form
Well, if we are honest, his current form is non-existent. GSP hasn’t fought at all since 2013 – before that he was one the greatest fighters of all-time. Johny Hendricks was his last fight and GSP won via a split decision. Prior to that he won fights against Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz. He looked epic in these bouts, but the question remains – does he still have the skills to compete at the top level.
Michael Bisping form
Bisping has had a tough run in the UFC, so he probably deserves some of the luck he is getting as champion. His first defence was against Dan Henderson, who was well past his prime at the time. Now he is taking on a fighter who has been absent from the sport for years. Many of his critics have stated that Bisping should be facing off against one of the divisions top contenders. Whitaker and Romero will certainly feel aggrieved that they have once again been overlooked for a fight against the champion.
Robert Whittaker is the interm-champion of the UFC’s middleweight division and can feel aggrieved that Dana White is not giving him a shot at Bisping. Granted, he has been promised a fight with the winner, but he would have expected much more when he defeated Yoel Romero. GSP was supposed to be fighting Tyron Woodley originally, but Woodley’s dull performance against Demian Maia ruled him out of the proposed fight. Instead, Dana gave him the money fight against the more entertaining Bisping.
We think Bisping will win this fight. He has looked up-to-speed in his last few bouts and although GSP is one of the best ever, he still hasn’t fought in a very long time. It took him an age to sign on in this fight and we would question how much he actually wants to be there. He is 13/10 with Ladbrokes to get the win and it looks like a great bet to us.