Thirteen months went by before former middleweight champion Michael Bisping defended the title after winning it in October 2016. Lightweight champion Conor McGregor hasn’t fought in a year, or defended his 155-pound belt. Interim champions were crowned in both divisions in their champion’s absence. No. 6 ranked welterweight Jorge Masvidal hopes the 170-pound weight class doesn’t experience the same log jam that the lightweight and middleweight division’s have due to an inactive champion.
“We see a big mess at 155-pounds, a huge mess. There’s no clear guy that’s going to fight for the title. We hear all types of things. And we don’t know when the champ at that weight class is going to defend the belt. I hope that doesn’t happen to 170. I hope things are smooth,” Masvidal told Submission Radio.
Bisping returned at UFC 217 on November 4, losing to former welterweight titleholder Georges St-Pierre. It was St-Pierre’s middleweight debut and his first fight in four years. It’s unclear if St-Pierre will defend the 185-pound crown or drop down to the welterweight division where he once dominated. Masvidal believes St-Pierre moving down the 170-poudn weight class could hold up the division.
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“With GSP coming down, I think that could happen. It could halt the whole division and stuff like that. I don’t know what his current obligations are to the company, like if he has to defend 185, but he could definitely make everything sticky at 170 if he were to come down,” said Masvidal.
Masvidal would welcome St-Pierre’s return to the welterweight division if it didn’t create a stall in title fights and contenders getting their shot at the belt. After all, St-Pierre is a legend that walked away from the sport in 2013 after defending his title a record nine consecutive times.
“GSP is one of the greatest to do it at that weight class, and just to compete ever in the sport. Personally, if it wouldn’t hold up the division like how it did for 185 — I think it was nine months until they came on the date and fought — As long as it wouldn’t be a problem like that I’d love for GSP to come back and fight with the new breed, the new blood that’s in the division,” he said.
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