Dana White might not get his way on this one…
Earlier this week, Dana White told Fox Sports the UFC middleweight division would be moving forward, without GSP as the next title challenger. The change of plans comes on the heels of GSP stating he would not be ready to fight until “after October”.
When the fight was announced back in March, Dana stated he was hoping to book the fight for July. GSP’s camp however, was looking at closer to the fall.
“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.” – Dana White
White would continue to say that Yoel Romero, who defeated Chris Weidman at UFC 205, would receive the next title shot. So far however, no bout between Bisping and Romero has been finalized.
The UFC might have trouble getting the middleweight champion to agree to such a bout however. In fact, the promotion may have a hard time getting either Bisping or GSP to face anyone else.
Michael Bisping vs. Fighters Who Fail PED Tests
Bisping has stated his opposition to facing fighters who failed PED tests in the past, including Yoel Romero. It is speculated that Bisping won’t face Anderson Silva again for the same reason.
Romero failed a USADA test in early 2016. His initial 2-year suspension was reduced to 6 months however, after his camp was able to provide the tainted supplement which caused his failed test. Despite the reduced suspension, Bisping has voiced his unwillingness to face Romero in the past.
Back in November, Bisping had this to say regarding facing Romero:
“If Yoel beats Chris, I honestly don’t think I’ll fight Yoel, because he tested positive for steroids,” he said. “I read an article recently that said that it takes years for the advantages of taking steroids to get out of your system. Just because you don’t test positive anymore doesn’t mean you’ll lose all the extra muscle and stuff like that that you were able to achieve. So I think he needs longer, I really do, and I don’t see why he should be rewarded.”
Georges St. Pierre Believes Fight Is Still On
Georges St. Pierre told reporters late Thursday evening that he still had yet to be personally informed that the fight had been cancelled. He is still expecting to face Bisping in the fall.
“I want to fight Bisping and I think Bisping wants to fight me,” he said. “I just learned the news, I don’t know what to say. It might be an emotional response by Dana or maybe it’s to put pressure on me.”
Perhaps White’s comments were only intended as motivation to make GSP agree to a sooner fight date, but it didn’t sound that way. It’s also possible that fan interest in the bout was not what the promotion had hoped for. While the super-fight is appealing to fans, the disruption to the middleweight division is seen by many as too steep a price for one big fight.
Getting Bisping to agree to face Romero, a bout which would yield a lower PPV bonus pay cheque for him, instead of waiting for GSP might be an impossible task for Dana. Despite White’s comments, it seems unlikely Bisping vs. Romero is the next title fight at 185lbs. More likely, is a scenario where Romero faces another top contender for an interim championship.