With the UFC now back on the GSP-Bisping train and officially booking the pair for UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden, the era of super fights resumes. Many questions will be answered if both men are able to make it to November 4th with their health in tact. Georges St Pierre’s performance after four years of inactivity being the obvious one. The question of size difference is not too far behind as GSP has made a living of using a barrage of jabs mixed with double leg take downs, while Bisping has made a living off of keeping fights, he’s been successful in, standing and countering with his impressive handwork. Could Bisping outpoint or knock off the most dominant welterweight on the planet? Could GSP’s game plan work against the bigger and brasher Brit? We’ll find out soon, but the question that nobody is asking is where does GSP from here?
GSP has been adamant that he will be returning solely for big fights and judging from his lack of interest, the welterweight division doesn’t offer the same appeal as a middleweight title fight against Bisping. And if he defeats Bisping, should we expect to see GSP do battle against Robert Whittaker in a unification bout? Or will GSP relinquish the title and leave the UFC in a weird position? Would they set Bisping up against Whittaker coming off a loss by default? Going back to GSP, where does he go? He told the media that he will retire if and when he suffers a loss. The Montreal native was lured back into the fight game with the prospects of adding to his legacy by becoming a two weight class champion, but would that really be as impressive against a 38-year-old champion who is fighting with a damaged right eye? GSP, once the dominant king of his division willing to take on the best his division had to offer and dominating them is now returning to pick a fight against somebody who’s status as champion has been questioned at some point by both fans and the media. Even if he is victorious, his legacy won’t ascend that much further.
Nonetheless, If GSP manages to pull off the impressive feat does he try and capture a third title at 155 lbs like he’s teased in the past? The UFC’s current lightweight champion is both a money fight as well as a fighter who wants no part of wrestling his way to victory. Conor McGregor, too only seeks fights that will help further his legacy and his bank account. The likelihood of GSP making 155 lbs after beefing up in an attempt to become a middleweight is slim to none, but they could always meet in the middle.
St Pierre relinquishing a title before defending it doesn’t sound appealing so maybe we’ll see him defend his title against an opponent of his choosing. Whittaker is deserving of the winner between the two all time UFC win leaders and it’s worth noting that he is similar in size to Bisping with a smaller reach so maybe there’s a chance we’ll witness GSP attempt to unify the middleweight titles. Oddly enough, St Pierre would have a 2 1/2 inch reach advantage against “The Reaper.” Just imagining the build up is hilarious considering both men are two of the most polite UFC athletes you’d find. Although, it’s an entirely different story inside of the cage. If GSP opts out of defending his title against Whittaker should he come out victorious in November, the opportunity to defend against a previous opponent still exists.
Enter Nick Diaz, the original MMA black hat and probably the polar opposite of St. Pierre in every way imaginable, perhaps that’s why Diaz can’t stand to be around him. Diaz and GSP squared off at UFC 158 in 2013 after a two year build up that started with both men expressing a desire to prove who is the best welterweight on the planet when they were competing under separate promotions. The build up was probably more exciting than the 25-minute long affair, but the two men managed to remain stars in a sport that doesn’t produce many and four years after their initial bout, bad blood is still very much present. In fact, Diaz called for a rematch during a backstage interview just minutes after their scrap. The fight being contested at 185 lbs and including an older version of GSP could help Diaz’s chances in pulling the upset. Diaz has remained on the sidelines since being suspended after testing positive for marijuana metabolites following his loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 182 two years ago. He appears content on remaining on the shelf until something or someone worth his while is presented his way.
If you thought we’d seen the last of wacky match making, GSP has proven to be yet another advocate of the sideshows. It’s quite a time to be an MMA fan.