Next weekend on November 4, Michael Bisping is scheduled to defend his UFC Middleweight Championship against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
This will mark the Canadian fighter's first UFC fight since he won via split decision against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in November 2013 in Las Vegas, successfully defending the UFC Welterweight Championship at the time.
While there has been a lot of talk about this fight considering it's GSP's first fight in four years, there has been a lot of talk about what will happen after the fight as well. Bisping has said he’d like to either move up to light heavyweight to fight Daniel Cormier, or he may retire after UFC 217.
St-Pierre, on the other hand, has said he will retire for good the next time he loses, and if he wins, he will defend the belt against interim champion Robert Whittaker in his next fight. The current UFC Middleweight Champion doesn't think he will do this though.
Speaking recently on his Believe You Me podcast, Bisping said, via MMAFighting: “He keeps talking about, ‘It’s in the contract. It’s in the contract that I fight Whittaker,’ but he ain’t. He ain’t gonna fight Whittaker if it’s in the contract or not. I believe it is in the contract but all he’s gotta do is say, ‘I don’t fancy doing that and if you want me to fight again and maybe sell a lot of pay-per-views, it’s gotta be someone else.’ The UFC would fold, I’ve got to imagine.
The British fighter doesn't think GSP will fight Whittaker at all. He instead believes the Canadian will instead look to face UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley and UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor.
“He wants to beat me, go back down to welterweight, beat [UFC welterweight champion] Tyron [Woodley], and then face [UFC lightweight champion] Conor [McGregor], beat all three, and then retire and make a ton of money. And the UFC probably wants that to happen. By that I don’t mean beat Conor, I mean beat me. Beat me, then either beat Woodley or go straight to Conor.
“He doesn’t need to fight regularly. . . [St-Pierre can] fight sometime towards the end of next year and in the meantime, Conor can fight Diaz or Ferguson, whichever one it’s gonna be, and then he can take some time off, and in the meantime, St-Pierre can be losing the weight to meet at a catchweight.”
Bisping strongly believes that the UFC wants this to happen as well, meaning they'll be hoping the British fighter loses come November 4. The Middleweight Champion isn't going to let that happen though.
“The skeptic inside me says [the UFC] probably want that to happen. If I was running the UFC, that’s what I’d want to happen. My job is to play spoiler, wreck all those plans, and beat the s**t out of Georges St-Pierre.
“The way I’m performing, I’m knocking guys out every round. I honestly believe I can stop Georges, I can knock him out, I can beat him. I respect his wrestling, I’m not terrified of his wrestling. I’ve prepared for that. I think I’m gonna stop him. I’m gonna stop the little Frenchie in Madison Square Garden.”