It looks like Michael Bisping won’t be making his next UFC middleweight title defense against Georges St. Pierre.
Last week, St. Pierre announced that he would be ready to face Bisping any time after October. However, his plans do not align with those of the UFC. After it was announced in March that Bisping would put his 185-pound strap on the line against St. Pierre at a date to be determined, UFC President Dana White revealed that the preferred timetable would put both men in the Octagon at UFC 213 on July 8.
Bisping later said that he would not be willing to wait on St. Pierre past the summer and would face true No. 1 contender Yoel Romero if the former welterweight champion was unable to be ready in time. Now, it appears that Romero will get his shot before St. Pierre.
“I made this GSP fight, we did a press conference. 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,” White told Fox Sports Australia. “(Yoel) doesn’t need to voice his opinion on why he needs a title shot. He definitely deserves a title shot. He’s next in line, he’s the No.1 ranked guy in the world.”
St. PIerre has not fought since he defended his welterweight title in a split-decision triumph over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in November 2013. The fact that he had never competed at middleweight was a source of controversy in the division. On Tuesday, ex-champ Anderson Silva blasted White and the promotion for putting the weight class in a “lockout.”
At this point, even White seems to realize that putting the division on hold until November when St. Pierre is able to compete is unreasonable.
“Georges St-Pierre was coming back. Bisping-St. Pierre — they both wanted that fight. We asked Yoel to step aside, he did. It doesn’t look like that fight is gonna happen now,” White said.“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.”
Yoel Romero has won eight consecutive fights in the Octagon and owns notable triumphs over the likes of Chris Weidman, Ronaldo Souza, Lyoto Machida and Tim Kennedy. White did not mention a target date for a Bisping vs. Romero title bout.