Bisping: I Did Not Dodge Top Contenders During My Title Reign

Michael Bisping is adamant that he did not duck the top contenders during his UFC middleweight title reign. At UFC 199, Michael Bisping pulled off one of the biggest upsets in title-fight history when he knocked off Luke Rockhold on short notice to become the new UFC middleweight champion. This would mark the beginning of…

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Michael Bisping is adamant that he did not duck the top contenders during his UFC middleweight title reign.

At UFC 199, Michael Bisping pulled off one of the biggest upsets in title-fight history when he knocked off Luke Rockhold on short notice to become the new UFC middleweight champion. This would mark the beginning of one of the most unusual championship reigns in company history.

The reign lasted 16 months with two title defenses, and neither defense came against a top-10 opponent.

UFC 204: Michael Bisping recovers from Dan Henderson's 'H-Bomb' to retain  his UFC title after five-round thriller
Credit: Getty Images

First, Bisping took on Dan Henderson in a rematch of their 2009 clash that saw Henderson turn in one of the most memorable knockouts of all time. Bisping would then defeat Henderson via unanimous decision at UFC 204 to earn his redemption.

And who can forget the final bout of GOAT candidate Georges St-Pierre, who returned after four years of retirement to challenge Bisping for the title fight? St-Pierre would go on to defeat Bisping and join the UFC’s selective double-champion’s club consisting of fighters that won world titles in multiple weight classes.

During Bisping’s reign, names like Robert Whittaker, Jacare Souza, and Yoel Romero were in line to face Bisping at one point or another. The main reason none of those fights came together was bad timing, including Bisping dealing with lingering health issues.

Despite the health issues, Bisping was willing to put off medical procedures if it meant fighting big names like Nick Diaz or, as was eventually the case, Georges St-Pierre. This led to Bisping coming under some criticism at the time, and even a United States Congressman questioned a company official about the legitimacy of the UFC as a sport, using Bisping’s championship reign as an example.

Bisping: “I Never Turned Anybody Down”

Michael Bisping
Image Credit: Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

During a recent post on his YouTube channel, Bisping defended UFC Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira’s calls for money fights against Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz.

“The Count” believes Islam Makhachev is off base for referring to Oliveira as a coward for these callouts because mixed martial artists are ultimately prize fighters, and he used himself and his 2016-2017 title reign as an example.

“Listen, I was champion of the world for a period of time. And when I was there, I was supposed to fight Robert Whittaker, but he got injured. I was then supposed to fight Yoel Romero, but I got injured. I had to have surgery on my left knee. Of course, ultimately, I had to have that knee replaced.

“But in the meantime, a fight with Georges St-Pierre materialized. Georges St-Pierre, one of the biggest box-office smashes that the UFC had ever saw, he wanted to come out of retirement, come up to 185 because I presented a new challenge for him. And the cheeky bugger probably thought he could beat me as well, which, as we know, he did. So I took that fight against Georges, and it was a great fight.

UFC 217: Bisping vs. St-Pierre - Los Angeles Times
Georges St-Pierre vs. Michae Bisping, UFC 217

“But more importantly, I made a lot of money. It was, by far, the biggest payday of my career. Now I wasn’t dodging anyone. No, I was taking on all comers. I was fighting whoever the UFC put in front of me. And that’s what I did all the time. I never turned anybody down. But when Georges St-Pierre came about, yes, I wanted that fight! Of course, I did.

“Number 1, thought I could beat him. But secondly, no offense to Robert or Yoel, they weren’t big pay-per-view stars. Georges St-Pierre was. He was huge. And him coming back was a massive storyline, and we sold almost a million pay-per-view buys. Robert and Yoel, I think they did like 200,000, so there you go.”

Michael Bisping now works as a color commentator during UFC broadcasts and also has his own podcast and YouTube channel where he shares his insight on various hot topics happening across the sport of MMA. Bisping’s final bout came three weeks after his loss to St-Pierre, where he lost to Kelvin Gastelum via KO.

Everything ultimately worked out for Robert Whittaker, who went on to become the undisputed UFC middleweight champion. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Yoel Romero and Jacare Souza, who both exited the UFC without ever capturing company gold.

What do you think about Michael Bisping’s reflections on his UFC title reign?

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Georges St-Pierre Praises Paddy Pimblett: ‘He’s Gonna Be A Star, The Sky’s The Limit For Him’

Paddy PimblettFormer two-weight UFC champion, Georges St-Pierre has backed lightweight prospect, Paddy Pimblett to become a real star in the sport of mixed martial arts – pointing to the charismatic nature of the Liverpool native. St-Pierre, a former undisputed welterweight and middleweight champion, officially retired from professional mixed martial arts following his ascension to the middleweight […]

Paddy Pimblett

Former two-weight UFC champion, Georges St-Pierre has backed lightweight prospect, Paddy Pimblett to become a real star in the sport of mixed martial arts – pointing to the charismatic nature of the Liverpool native.

St-Pierre, a former undisputed welterweight and middleweight champion, officially retired from professional mixed martial arts following his ascension to the middleweight throne at UFC 217 against Michael Bisping back in November 2017.

The Canadian fan-favorite is recognised as one of the greatest to ever compete in the sport, and to the consensus, is considered the best welterweight to ever sport a pair of gloves – avenging his only ever career defeats to both Matt Serra and Matt Hughes. 

As for Pimblett, the outspoken Huyton native scooped Cage Warriors featherweight gold prior to his UFC debut last September, landing in the Octagon with a first round knockout win over Luigi Vendramini. 

Paddy Pimblett has so far managed to land two victories since his UFC debut last September

Forced to rally once more in his second Octagon walk, the Next Generation MMA staple would return in March at UFC London against Kazula Vargas, stopping the Mexico City native with a first round rear-naked choke. Pimblett is expected to return to the Octagon for his third UFC appearance at UFC London in July to boot. 

Touting himself as a surefire star in the sport, Pimblett, who also penned a reportedly lucrative deal with media outlet, Barstool Sports – has received his fair share of backers as well as doubters, however, St-Pierre believes the Liverpudlian’s charisma will fire him toward stardom in the sport. 

“I met him (Paddy Pimblett) briefly in England, in Manchester – he’s very charismatic,” Georges St-Pierre told Patrick Bet-David during a recent interview. “He’s good – to be successful in this business of fighting, you need to be skilled, but more in that, you need to be charismatic. And in order to be charismatic, a lot of guys feel that they need to trash talk, to imitate Conor McGregor.”

“You don’t have to do that,” Georges St-Pierre said. “I sold a lot of pay-per-views because I was authentic and who I am, and I think Paddy ‘The Baddy’ is authentic. I think he is a very charismatic guy, he’s got a weird style, I really enjoy watching him fight. And I think he’s gonna be even more of a big draw, I think that the sky is the limit for him.”

Georges St-Pierre Claims Potential Khabib Fight ‘Was All BS’: ‘Dana White Kinda Lied To Me’

Georges St-PierreFormer two-division UFC champion, Georges St-Pierre has claimed that a potential super-fight against former lightweight kingpin, Khabib Nurmagomedov was never going to come to fruition, insisting that UFC president, Dana White “kinda lied” to him when he initially reached out and floated the fight. St-Pierre, a former undisputed welterweight and middleweight champion, has been out […]

Georges St-Pierre

Former two-division UFC champion, Georges St-Pierre has claimed that a potential super-fight against former lightweight kingpin, Khabib Nurmagomedov was never going to come to fruition, insisting that UFC president, Dana White “kinda lied” to him when he initially reached out and floated the fight.

St-Pierre, a former undisputed welterweight and middleweight champion, has been out of action since his return to the Octagon in November 2017 at UFC 217, managing to scoop the middleweight crown in a fourth round rear-naked choke win against Michael Bisping. St-Pierre officially announced his retirement from the sport in 2019 after he recovered from ulcerative colitis. 

For Khabib, the former undisputed lightweight titleholder called time on his professional mixed martial arts career back in October 2020 following a successful title unification win against Justin Gaethje, boasting an undefeated 29-0 professional record.

In the time since the Dagestan native’s retirement, he has been linked extensively with a superfight against former duel-weigh kingpin, St-Pierre – however, once of the most intriguing fights in promotional antiquity has since failed to ever materialize. 

Speaking on the failed pairing once more, St-Pierre claimed that UFC leader, White made it seem that Khabib had already agreed to fight him during a brief call when he floated the matchup – basically lying to the Canadian favorite in his estimation.

“What happened now – because Khabib (Nurmagomedov) is retired and I’m retired – so now, the UFC… Dana (White) called me and he’s like, ‘Oh, now would you be interested to fight Khabib?’ He asked,” Georges St-Pierre told Patrick Bet-David during a recent interview. “He called me. But I thought it was strange because I never wanted to do it.”

“And now, because he called me for that reason, I was like… I didn’t want to do it, but I told Dana, just to see what happens because I was curious,” Georges St-Pierre said. “You know it’s always a chess game when the promoter calls you. I didn’t say no, I said, ‘OK, let me think about it.’ The way Dana talked to me, it was like Khabib already accepted. But it wasn’t true. It was just fishing to make the fight happen. They knew now that we were both retired, so now, for them, it was an opportunity to make a big-money fight.” 

St-Pierre then claimed that Khabib’s manager, Dominance MMA leader, Ali Abdelaziz, made it seem like he was only now interested in fighting his client, with the knowledge that Khabib was now-retired.

Georges St-Pierre claims Dana White “kinda lied” to him in a bid to make a fight with Khabib

“So I said gonna think about it and I wait a few days and I saw in the media that Ali Abdelaziz came out publicly and said, ‘Hey, now Georges wants to fight, but now we already retired…’ It was all BS,” Georges St-Pierre said.
“Dana kinda lied to me,” Georges St-Pierre said. “They (the UFC) didn’t approach Khabib first, they approached me first to make it happen. I know now for a fact. A hundred percent.” (Transcribed by Bloody Elbow)

Georges St-Pierre Believes Kamaru Usman Is Beatable If He Doesn’t Stay Focused

Georges St-PierreGeorges St-Pierre believes that Kamaru Usman is the best fighter in the UFC and in the division, but he does not believe he is invincible.  St-Pierre is one of the greatest fighters and possibly the greatest fighter to ever step into the cage. He knows about the feeling of invincibility and being humbled in the […]

Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre believes that Kamaru Usman is the best fighter in the UFC and in the division, but he does not believe he is invincible. 

St-Pierre is one of the greatest fighters and possibly the greatest fighter to ever step into the cage. He knows about the feeling of invincibility and being humbled in the cage. He was in that same situation with Matt Serra. Serra knocked out ‘GSP’ while he was at the top of his game. 

Usman has come close to losing a few times. He was knocked down by Gilbert Burns in their fight. Burns hits like a Mack truck, so for him to get up and dominate Burns the rest of the fight was very impressive. 

Some believe Colby Covington has inched out a victory over Usman. He has given him his best rounds and is one of the most well rounded fighters in the entire organization. 

It looks like Usman is looking forward to a fight with Canelo Alvarez, but Alvarez hasn’t reciprocated that same eagerness to box him. Usman may be overlooking his competition that may be in their primes of their careers. 

Georges St-Pierre believes there are a few guys in the welterweight division that could beat him in the octagon. 

“I believe there’s a lot of guys that can beat Usman,” St-Pierre told MMA News (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “I do believe personally Usman is the best right now in the division but that doesn’t mean he is invincible. He needs to always stay on top of the game. It’s hard to be champion and it’s even harder to stay champion. I’m sure if you ask Usman, he’ll tell you the same thing.” St-Pierre said. 

Usman may be overlooking killers like Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev. Those guys are up next in terms of challengers and that could cause for a bad circumstance. 

“He’s on a tear right now, he looks phenomenal but there’s a lot of guys that can give him a lot of trouble like Khamzat Chimaev. Leon Edwards, maybe. Usman so far has been a puzzle that no one is able to solve. He’s incredible but he needs to stay focused to make sure he never underestimates nobody and trains for every fight like it’s the hardest fight he’s ever had.”

St-Pierre Backs Former Opponent Hardy For Successful Return

Georges St-Pierre believes former Octagon rival Dan Hardy will have the edge in his upcoming boxing match with Diego Sanchez. Hardy will make his return to combat sports on 2 July after an almost ten-year absence. During that time, the 39-year-old has carved out a career as one of MMA’s most respected commentators and analysts…

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Georges St-Pierre believes former Octagon rival Dan Hardy will have the edge in his upcoming boxing match with Diego Sanchez.

Hardy will make his return to combat sports on 2 July after an almost ten-year absence. During that time, the 39-year-old has carved out a career as one of MMA’s most respected commentators and analysts but often expressed his desire to strap the gloves back on.

Hardy’s last professional UFC outing was a decision victory over Amir Sadollah in September 2012. Less than a year later, he was forced to end his 35-fight MMA career after he was diagnosed with a heart condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.

Beginning in 2008, Hardy’s UFC stint spanned 10 fights and saw him challenge all-time great Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title in 2010. Hardy lost the bout via unanimous decision, and thereafter went on a three-fight skid that included losses to Carlos Condit and Anthony Johnson.

St-Pierre Hardy
Georges St-Pierre battles Dan Hardy during their welterweight title bout at UFC 111 in March, 2010 (PHOTO: GETTY)

St-Pierre Says Hardy’s Striking Will Give Him An Edge Against Sanchez

Hardy is certainly facing a number of challenges as he prepares for his boxing match with UFC Hall of Famer and Eagle FC super lightweight Sanchez. Not only is the Englishman a decade removed from professional competition, but he’ll be making his return in a different combat sport, against a recently battle-tested opponent.

But the man who bested Hardy for the UFC welterweight title all those years ago, Georges St-Pierre, believes the Englishman will go into the bout with Sanchez the favorite. In an interview with MMA News, St-Pierre said that Hardy’s striking will prove to be the difference.

“In boxing Diego Sanchez, I think he’s gonna do very well. I think he’s gonna have an edge in that. He’s a great striker,” said St-Pierre.

Also in Hardy’s favor is that he’ll face Sanchez before a home crowd in Manchester, England. The eight-round exhibition bout will feature on the undercard of British boxing legend Ricky Hatton, who will face Marco Antonio Barrera.

Is Georges St-Pierre right? Will Dan Hardy’s striking give him the edge against Diego Sanchez?

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St-Pierre Backs “Very Dangerous” Procházka For UFC Title Glory

Former middleweight and welterweight UFC champion Georges St-Pierre has given his mark of approval for the title charge of light heavyweight knockout artist Ji?í Procházka. Not many have lived up to their reputation once joining the UFC as emphatically as Procházka has. The native of the Czech Republic was signed by the MMA leader after…

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Former middleweight and welterweight UFC champion Georges St-Pierre has given his mark of approval for the title charge of light heavyweight knockout artist Ji?í Procházka.

Not many have lived up to their reputation once joining the UFC as emphatically as Procházka has. The native of the Czech Republic was signed by the MMA leader after 30 professional fights, during which he recorded a staggering 23 knockouts in 26 wins and held 205-pound gold in the renowned Rizin promotion.

Two UFC contenders have learned about Procházka’s power the hard way. First was Volkan Oezdemir in 2020, whose attempt to crash the welcoming party ended with a nap on the canvas courtesy of a brutal right hand.

Then came the turn of former title challenger Dominick Reyes, who was on the wrong side of a KO of the Year contender after being slept by a truly vicious spinning back elbow at UFC Vegas 25 last May.

Procházka puts a lot of his success down to his following of Bushido principles and Samurai values. One man who’s also compared his mentality to that of a Samurai is UFC legend and GOAT contender St-Pierre, who has nothing but good things to say about the surging light heavyweight.

St-Pierre Touts Procházka As “Future World Champion”

During an interview with MMA News’ own James Lynch, St-Pierre was asked to comment on the rise of Procházka.

The Canadian, who certainly knows a thing or two about reaching the top in the UFC, predicted huge things for the 29-year-old, providing that his yet-to-be-seen ground game is sufficient in dealing with the division’s grappling specialists.

“100% (I enjoy watching him). He’s very dangerous. And he’s a great striker,” noted St-Pierre. “But I think, maybe his ground game, we haven’t seen him too much on the ground. He’s never been exposed that much. That’s the thing, a lot of guys, they haven’t been exposed.

“I’m curious to see him compete more. But he’s very impressive. I think he’s going to be the future world champion,” St-Pierre predicted to MMA News.

If there’s one man in the division who can ‘expose’ Procházka on the ground, as GSP put it, it’s the Czech striker’s next opponent, Glover Teixeira. The pair are set to collide for light heavyweight gold in the main event of UFC 275 on June 11. The card is expected to mark the promotion’s return to Singapore.

Should “Denisa” successfully deal with the grappling game of the champion, which helped him to dethrone Jan Blachowicz at the age of 42 last October, then perhaps St-Pierre’s prediction will be coming true as soon as this summer.

Check out our full interview with MMA legend Georges St-Pierre below:

Do you agree with Georges St-Pierre? Is Ji?í Procházka a future UFC champion?

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