Here we go!! @bisping welcomes Georges St-Pierre back to the UFC!!
Event & Date TBA pic.twitter.com/gTPTS4iL1S
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) March 1, 2017
UFC great George St-Pierre (GSP) is coming out of retirement to fight Michael Bisping at UFC 209. St-Pierre has been retired from the UFC since November of 2013 and in his first fight back gets a title shot in the middleweight division. George St-Pierre has fought nearly all of his fights at the welterweight limit of 170 pounds. This will be St-Pierre’s first UFC fight at the middleweight limit of 185 pounds. Michael Bisping is coming off his first successful title defense in the UFC with a unanimous decision win over Dan Henderson at UFC 204. Bisping accepted this fight largely based on the pay that would come with it.
According to Chad Dundas at Bleacher Report:
Well, what he gets in his return to the Octagon after a three-year absence is a potentially winnable championship fight, a nice payday and a chance at the history books.
If St-Pierre is able to return to action at nearly 36 years old and win another UFC title in a weight class above his natural division, there will simply be no argument against anointing him the greatest MMA fighter of all time.
Even though George St-Pierre is from Canada, which has been a growing hotbed of MMA fans, the fight will most likely take place in Las Vegas, Nevada at the T-Mobile Arena during the beginning of July.
The matchup for George St-Pierre’s return has been polarizing. Some argue that the addition of GSP back into the UFC at the middleweight division is happening mostly because of the short-term payoff that will come from it. The middleweight division is currently one of the most exciting in the UFC and it is unusual for a fighter who is coming out of a three year retirement would get an immediate title shot. St-Pierre allegedly requested that he fight Bisping in his first fight back and that may have been one of the tipping points that brought GSP back to the company.