Dana White: UFC's plans for Michael Bisping vs. GSP are off
Dana White said tonight that after Georges St-Pierre said he would be ready to fight Michael Bisping in November, that the plans for what was the biggest fight on the books for this year are off.
“I made this GSP fight, we did a press conference, the thing was supposed to happen in July,” said White on the UFC Fight Week television show that airs on Fox Sports in Australia. “Michael Bisping is going to have to defend his title now. We’re not waiting for GSP.”
White said that Bisping would instead be defending his middleweight title against former Olympic wrestling medalist Yoel Romero, who has been considered the top contender since he defeated Chris Weidman in Madison Square Garden in November.
St-Pierre, the greatest welterweight champion in UFC history, vacated the title at the end of 2013 and hasn’t fought since. He talked in early 2016 about wanting to come back, but attempts to put together a deal sputtered due to St-Pierre’s demands because he was used to making so much for sponsorships that UFC’s deal with Reebok wouldn’t allow. It wasn’t until early this year that St-Pierre agreed to terms, and to an opponent, Bisping.
UFC was attempting to make the fight on July 8th, as the main event for the International Fight Week show at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. But St-Pierre would never commit to the date.
The entire middleweight division was unhappy when St-Pierre released a statement five days ago, saying he’d be ready for Bisping after the end of October. A few weeks ago, when it seemed clear he wasn’t going to agree to fight on that date, Bisping spoke of it happening in the fall and seemed willing to wait.
“(Yoel) doesn’t need to voice his opinion on why he needs a title shot,” said White. “He definitely deserves a title shot. He’s next in line. He’s the No. 1 ranked guy in the world.”
“Georges St-Pierre is saying he will not be ready to compete now until November,” said White. “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.”