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Morning Report: Michael Bisping reacts to 'prick' Georges St-Pierre vacating the UFC middleweight title

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

When Georges St-Pierre announced his intention to challenge for the UFC middleweight title, many people looked speciously on his insistence that he would make the move to 185 permanently. But St-Pierre repeatedly said he would defend the belt and even agreed to such a stipulation in his contract. But after winning the title at UFC 217, St-Pierre vacated his newly won belt, leaving the rest of the middleweight division to move on from his very brief reign as champion.

Among those left reacting to St-Pierre’s sudden, though not unexpected, decision to vacate the title, is the man who St-Pierre beat to win the belt, Michael Bisping, who recently discussed the middleweight title situation on his Believe You Me podcast, calling St-Pierre “a prick” and saying that vacating the title was “a bit of a bitch move.”

“He’s a prick,” said Bisping. “He’s a prick, god bless him.”

“I’m gonna be brutally honest here, it’s a double-edged sword. It’s a good thing and a bad thing. By the way, Dana White threw me under the bus when he first found out. He wasn’t happy with Georges and he said, ‘Yeah, well he cherry-picked Bisping.’ That doesn’t do me any favors! He didn’t cherry-pick me, but I did say that. I said Georges wanted to fight me because he thought I was an easy fight and this and that, and he got the win, and then he vacated the belt. Now he vacated the belt because apparently he had to go to the hospital after our fight and he thought he was gonna be paralyzed and he had a bad neck and all this type of stuff. I don’t know. He just doesn’t fancy doing it again.

“In one respect, it’s good for me because - as an MMA fighter, as a boxer, whatever it is - if somebody beats you, you never want them to lose again because if they get beat, then the person that beat them, it has a negative impact on you. Like, ‘Oh, they could have beaten me as well.’ So he’s never going to fight at 185 again, that’s good. I’m the only person at 185 he ever beat, nobody at 185 is ever gonna beat him. So cheers Georges, thanks for that. But at the same time, it looks like a bit of a bitch move, you know what I mean? So there’s pluses and negatives.”

Widely regarded as one of the best fighters ever, in recent years St-Pierre’s name had been moving further down the greatest of all-time discussion as champions like Jon Jones and Demetrious Johnson began putting together remarkable resumes. Meanwhile, St-Pierre had left the sport on somewhat of a bad foot, vacating his welterweight title after a controversial decision win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167. St-Pierre’s return and history making win over Bisping immediately reinstated him as the public ‘GOAT’ conversation and Bisping believes that was the plan all along, to come back, cement his legacy, and then leave again like he did before.

“He even said that,” said Bisping. “Remember he said in the press conferences, he said if he lost he was never gonna try again and he was gonna retire. I don’t know anything about Georges’ bank account but I’m assuming it’s pretty swollen, it’s got plenty of money in there. So he came back, he got another belt, made history, made a ton of money, made more than me, the prick, and good for him. It’s actually really smart. Why should he carry on fighting? Legacy is more important and he’s got a great legacy there. So from a business standpoint, it’s actually a really smart move. From the UFC’s perspective, of course it’s frustrating. It’s annoying. Opens the doors for Whittaker versus Rockhold but it’s annoying because remember, GSP did that after the Johny Hendricks fight. He didn’t defend the belt, walked away, Dana was pissed then, and now he’s doing the same thing now.”

With St-Pierre no longer in the middleweight title picture, the UFC promoted interim champion Robert Whittaker to undisputed champion and scheduled his first title defense against the man Bisping knocked out to win the title, Luke Rockhold. Bisping might have been the go-to person for Whittaker’s first title defense but after losing to St-Pierre, “The Count” accepted a short-notice fight against Kelvin Gastelum and was subsequently knocked out in the first round. That left Rockhold, who Bisping has a contentious past with, as the logical next in line and despite their history, Bisping seems okay with the middleweight division moving on without him.

“GSP’s retired, I’m out the picture, let them two fight for it, whoever wins, they become the champion and good for them.”

Bisping has said he intends to retire after his next fight which he hopes with come when the UFC returns to London for UFC Fight Night London on March 17.


MUST-READ STORIES

CTE. Ex-Alabama linebacker Eryk Anders calls football “way more dangerous” than MMA.

Loss. Josh Emmett says missing weight against Lamas “almost felt like a loss.”

9/4. Matt Mitrione opens as the betting favorite to win the Bellator heavyweight GP.

Weight. Khabib Nurmagomedov says his weight is “perfect” leading into UFC 219.


VIDEO STEW

Espinoza talking Dana and Conor.

Khabib says he’ll cut off his leg to make weight.

Rampage and Chael talking about their biggest weight cuts.

Coach Roddy showing how to set up counters.


LISTEN UP

Fights Gone By. Discussing whether Rafael dos Anjos is an all-time great.

Obviously Fight Talk. UFC Winnipeg recap plus Darren Till and John Phillips interviews.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Masvidal posted DMs between him and Bisping.

Romero and Branch making it easy for Mick Maynard.

RDA shutting Wonderboy all the way down.

Oluwale Bamgbose spitting fire.

Covington.

De La Rosa jumping in on Brooks now.

Quick ride to the top.

Sticking around.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Tim Elliott (14-8-1) vs. Mark De La Rosa (9-0); UFC 219, Dec. 30.

Sarah Kaufman (18-4, 1 NC) vs. Pannie Kianzad (8-2); Invicta FC 27, Jan. 13.

Vanessa Porto (19-8) vs. Mariana Morals (12-5); Invicta FC 27, Jan. 13.

Sharon Jacobson (4-2) vs. Ashley Nichols (3-1); Invicta FC 27, Jan. 13.

Ashley Cummins (5-4) vs. Stephanie Alba (3-2); Invicta FC 27, Jan. 13.

Felicia Spencer (3-0) vs. Akeela Al-Hameed (0-0); Invicta FC 27, Jan. 13.

Mallory Martin (1-2) vs. Tiffany Masters (2-1); Invicta FC 27, Jan. 13.

Mellissa Wang (1-0) vs. Konklak Suphisara (0-0); Invicta FC 27, Jan. 13.

Jade Ripley (0-0) vs. Helen Peralta (0-0); Invicta FC 27, Jan. 13.

Teruto Ishihara (10-4-2) vs. Jose Quinonez (6-2); UFC 221, Feb. 11.

Darrion Caldwell (11-1) vs. Leandro Higo (18-3); Bellator 195, March 2.


FINAL THOUGHTS

That’s all for today folks. Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.


If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.