UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping will not be welcoming former welterweight king Georges St-Pierre back to the Octagon.
Late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning, UFC president Dana White announced on FOX Sports Australia’s “UFC Fight Week” that the promotion has canceled the planned Bisping vs. St-Pierre fight and will move the middleweight division forward.
The news comes after St-Pierre announced his intentions to wait until after October to return to the cage.
Because of St-Pierre’s prefered lay-off, the UFC will now grant top contender Yoel Romero the next title shot and St-PIerre will have to wait to learn his next move.
“I made this GSP fight, we did a press conference,” White said. “The thing was supposed to happen in July. Michael Bisping is going to have to defend his title now. We’re not waiting for GSP.
“Georges St-Pierre is saying he will not be ready to compete now until November. 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.”
This is the right move for the UFC.
Holding the middleweight division hostage until late 2017 to give a title shot to a former 170-pounder who hasn’t fought in nearly four years just didn’t make much sense, especially with fighters like Romero, Robert Whittaker and Luke Rockhold waiting in the wings.