If he doesn’t get to challenge UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, it appears that Georges St-Pierre will return in a battle for a different belt.
St-Pierre was supposed to return from a more than three-year hiatus in an attempt to move up to 185 pounds for the first time in his career to challenge for the belt. He inked a new deal with the UFC, they held a press conference, promoted the fight, and then it all fell apart.
While the UFC had been targeting UFC 213 on July 8 in Las Vegas, St-Pierre recently announced that he wouldn’t be ready to fight until after October. At that point, UFC president Dana White yanked the fight, saying that Bisping would instead defend his belt against No. 1 contender Yoel Romero.
Bisping then revealed a lingering knee injury that has yet to heal. “My knee isn’t gonna be ready in July. Certainly is nowhere near gonna be ready.”
White is now targeting an interim middleweight title fight between Romero and No. 3 ranked Robert Whittaker.
“We’re trying to put together that Bisping-Romero fight,” White recently told Canadian outlet TSN. “If (Bisping) can’t fight this summer, we’ll probably create an interim title between Romero and Robert Whittaker.”
So where does that leave St-Pierre’s comeback?
It appears that St-Pierre’s middleweight aspirations were only if he had the opportunity to challenge Bisping for the belt. After being pulled from that fight and Bisping likely to have to defend against the winner of Romero vs. Whittaker, St-Pierre appears headed back to his old stomping grounds.
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“(St-Pierre) says he will fight whoever the 170-pound champion is when he comes back,” White said.
With St-Pierre not returning before November, the welterweight belt is likely to be contested prior to his comeback fight. Current champion Tyron Woodley is expected to face Demian Maia in his next fight. After Maia recently defeated Jorge Masvidal, White told Maia he would get a title shot next.
Now it appears that St-Pierre could be on a collision course with the winner of Woodley vs. Maia. Match-ups are shifting quickly, however, so stay tuned for an official announcement from UFC officials.
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