Michael Bisping’s middleweight title superfight with Georges St-Pierre is OFF.
A battle between the British UFC middleweight champion and the returning former UFC welterweight king had been announced, but without a date or a venue.
And following weeks of back-and-forth ending with St-Pierre saying he’ll be ready to face Bisping “after October” UFC president Dana White decided that enough was enough and scrapped the contest.
Speaking to Fox Sports in Australia, White explained: “I made this GSP fight, we did a press conference.
“The thing was supposed to happen in July. Michael Bisping is going to have to defend his title now. We’re not waiting for GSP.”
White stated his intention to hold the fight in July (presumably during International Fight Week) during the bout’s launch press conference, but when quizzed on the specifics of his comeback St-Pierre was noticeably vague.
September was mooted as a possible option before St-Pierre took to Instagram to post a video message to Bisping, saying he’d cleared his schedule for training camp and would be ready any time “after October”.
White said he wouldn’t wait that long, and has instead said that number-one contender Yoel Romero will get the next shot at Bisping’s belt, saying the Cuban doesn’t need to state his case.
“He doesn’t need to voice his opinion on why he needs a title shot,” White explained.
“He definitely deserves a title shot. He’s next in line, he’s the No.1 ranked guy in the world.”
Romero is one of the most powerful athletes in the UFC’s 185lb middleweight division. A former Olympic silver medallist and World Championship gold medallist in freestyle wrestling, Romero cuts a formidable figure inside the octagon.
The Cuban powerhouse has racked up wins over Derek Brunson, Brad Tavares, Tim Kennedy, Lyoto Machida and Jacare Souza as he’s moved from dangerous prospect to bona-fide contender in the UFC’s middleweight division.
He has a career record of 13 wins, 1 loss and is perfect in the UFC, winning all eight of his contests so far, six of them by KO/TKO.
His last outing saw him knock out former world champ Chris Weidman at UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden with a spectacular flying knee before calling out the watching Bisping, who responded in typically bullish fashion from the Fox Sports box.
“Georges St-Pierre was coming back. Bisping-St-Pierre – they both wanted that fight,” said White.
“We asked Yoel to step aside, he did. It doesn’t look like that fight is gonna happen now.
“Georges St-Pierre is saying he will not be ready to compete now until November. Who knows if that’s even the case. It could be next year.
“So we’re not waiting for Georges St-Pierre anymore. We’re moving on with the division, and Yoel Romero will get the next shot.”