Dana white announced today that GSP and Bisping will fight for the middleweight title in Vegas later this year. Which means the velvet voiced Yoel Romero was asked to kindly goose step his way out of the title picture so WME could better chip away at their billion dollar debts. I was unfortunately working on an article breaking down GSP’s potential opponents when I heard the announcement. And boy what an article it would have been, all three weight classes were in play and everyone from Nate Diaz to Anderson Silva were considered. I went deep, had quotes from obscure 2013 interviews and I was starting to connect all the dots.
Unfortunately those insane musings are now irrelevant since Dana White scooped me on SportsCenter. But you’ll have to believe me when I say my genius conclusion was that we see George fight for the title at 185 or 170. Because it’s like Freddie Roach said last week, “We didn’t want
to come back just to come back. We wanted to come back to be world champion”. (Source MMA Hour at 2:20:40)
So Michael Bisping is GSP’s first target. It came out last week that the successful negotiations for GSP’s return included his first two prefered opponents. And Michael Bisping seems to be a lot of people’s prefered opponent these days, he’s become the Rodney Dangerfield of MMA. No one at middleweight seems to give him much respect, many fans view him as a weak champion, and each of his last three opponents (Silva, Rockhold, Hendo) managed to underestimate him in some way or another. George and his coaches do not underestimate opponents but it’s clear they have a plan for Bisping. It will be interesting to see what that plan is because GSP’s main tools; his long jab and athletic takedowns are going to be much less effective against a bigger longer guy. It’s worth noting, GSP retired before the IV ban and at 35 years old he might have a hard time making that 170lb cut. So for all we know GSP might be better than ever as a middleweight. There’s a lot of questions, hopefully some of them will get answered this Friday in Vegas where both guys will be in attendance for the UFC’s pre fight press conference.