ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Earlier this week, UFC president Dana White said the “ship had sailed” on the concept of a middleweight title fight between champion Michel Bisping and former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
Just a few days later, though, it’s clear that ship is right back in port.
“That ship f*cking turned around and sailed back,” White said Saturday night at the UFC 214 post-fight press conference.
Indeed, White indicated the Bisping-GSP fight, which had been announced earlier this year and then pulled after Bisping suffered a knee injury, was back on. Additionally, MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani reports, per sources, that the bout has been agreed upon for Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
He also indicated the Bisping-GSP winner would fight interim champion Robert Whittaker at a TBD date.
“Michael Bisping will fight,” White said. “Michael Bisping will show up and he will fight.”
At Wednesday’s UFC 214 pre-fight press conference, White insisted that St-Pierre would challenge the winner of Saturday night’s Tyron Woodley-Demian Maia fight.
On Saturday, though, he made it clear that the crowd’s reaction to the Woodley-Maia fight -- which featured a fifth round in which the crowd did the wave, waved around lit up cell phones, and chanted “this is boring” -- played a role in his decision-making.
“Listen, when you break a record for the least number of punches thrown in a five-round fight, when you beat it and it was like 130 and these guys threw 60 or something like that, that sums it up,” White said.
“If you get booed out of the arena, that’s not good,” White added later. “That’s not how you make your money. If people don’t want to watch you, that’s a bad sign.”
Woodley, for his part, said Wednesday he was skeptical he’d be fighting GSP next, and felt validated Saturday for making that claim.
“Did you hear my reply at the press conference when he said I was going to fight the GSP-Bisping winner if I won? I said, these guys are already talking about fighting [each other],” Woodley said.
The greatest welterweight champion of all-time, St-Pierre had two title reigns, the second of which ran from April 2008-Dec. 2013. He vacated the belt in 2013 and announced his plans to return early this year.
“[GSP] doesn’t want to fight me, because I’m a better version of him,” Woodley said.