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Oddsmakers open Michael Bisping as betting favorite to be Georges St-Pierre’s next UFC opponent

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It didn’t take long for the betting world to weigh-in on the Georges St-Pierre sweepstakes.

Following news reported Wednesday by MMA Fighting that St-Pierre was on the verge of signing a new multi-fight contract with the UFC, oddsmakers at Bovada set the opening lines for the question hanging on everyone’s mind: who will be St-Pierre’s next opponent?

UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping opened as the +130 betting favorite, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering that both Bisping and St-Pierre have lobbied to fight one another for several months dating back to late-2016.

But Bisping wasn’t the only name thrown into the mix. Complete opening odds can be seen below.

Screenshot via Bovada

St-Pierre, 35, reigned over the UFC welterweight division from 2007 until 2013 as one of the most popular fighters in the sport. He defended his UFC title nine consecutive times — a record for the division — culminating in a hard-fought split decision over Johny Hendricks in Nov. 2013. Afterward, St-Pierre surprised many within the sport by vacating the belt and exiting the UFC on top, although he always hinted that a return could be in the cards for the right fight.

Even today, St-Pierre is widely considered to be the greatest welterweight to ever compete in mixed martial arts. In June 2016, he announced his intentions to return to the UFC and a desire to fight Bisping. A myriad of contract issues complicated that return, however it appears the worst is behind St-Pierre and the Canadian icon is targeting a fight in the third quarter of 2017.

With a lack of big-name stars at the UFC’s disposal, St-Pierre’s comeback will undoubtedly prove to be a financial boon for the new owners of the UFC — and the lucky opponent who gets selected to challenge the former champion.