Like Michael Bisping, Dan Hardy believes Georges St-Pierre will not be defending the middleweight title if he wins it at UFC 217.
If Georges St-Pierre ends up winning the UFC middleweight title on Saturday night at UFC 217, the logical move to make would be to unify it against interim champion Robert Whittaker. However, reigning champion Michael Bisping believes St-Pierre would instead drop back down to welterweight to challenge 170-pound champion Tyron Woodley.
Apparently, former welterweight title challenger Dan Hardy shares the exact same sentiment as Bisping. In a recent interview with Submission Radio, Hardy says while he does think that St-Pierre could face Whittaker, it might not be the case if it were against the other middleweights in the roster.
“He said himself in his contract for the title fight against Bisping that it’s in there that he defends against Whittaker immediately afterwards,” Hardy said. “I think that he would, I think that he would take a fight against Whittaker. Against someone like Luke Rockhold, I don’t think he would. I think he would rather relinquish the belt and maybe go for Woodley.
“But I think alternatively, I think he may fight Bisping and if he wins and takes the belt I think he’ll challenge Tyron Woodley straight away. You know, he comes back, he fights twice, he wins two belts and then he retires. That’s a good gamble in my eyes.”
St-Pierre has been out of action for a total of four years, and in that time frame, Bisping, on the other hand, kept himself active. Hardy believes Bisping’s conditioning will help him get the better of the former long-time welterweight champion, en route to a decision win.
“I think the safe money’s on Bisping by decision. I think with the grind that he’s got, it wouldn’t surprise me if he loses a round or two in the beginning,” Hardy said. “I certainly think GSP is going to come out and have a strong showing early on, certainly the first couple of rounds, but Bisping’s tenacity and conditioning will get him through that and I feel even if he loses a couple of the early rounds he’ll do enough in the later rounds to make a decision win for himself.”
UFC 217 takes place on November 4th at Madison Square Garden in New York City.