Finally, some fights are starting to make sense…
According to recent comments from Dana White, Georges St. Pierre will no longer be challenging for the middleweight title in his UFC return bout later this year. Despite announcing Bisping vs. GSP back in February, it now seems the popular 36 year-old Canadian will not be moving up in weight after all.
Instead, GSP will be moving back to welterweight, the only weight class he’s ever competed at. GSP has won the UFC welterweight title twice (3x if you can’t winning the interim belt) and defended the title 9x. His 12 wins in UFC title fights is the most all-time.
According to recent comments by Dana White, GSP will once again challenge for that title later this year. While it hasn’t been officially announced yet, there is a rumoured date and location for the bout which should also get fans excited.
Current State of the Welterweight Division
The welterweight division is in a far less chaotic state than middleweight. The 185lbs weight class hasn’t made a lick of sense since Bisping defeated Rockhold at UFC 199. A top-ranked challenger hasn’t been given a title shot since. The interim title fight between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker at UFC 213 might be the first step in the division’s long road to recovery.
In the welterweight division things are less crowded at the top than at middleweight as well. Stephen Thompson and Jorge Masvidal were both recently bumped out of the title picture via losses to Woodley and Maia respectively. Robbie Lawler could be back in contention if he wins his next bout (against Cerrone or someone else), but otherwise there aren’t many in the division with legitimate claims for a title shot.
In other words, GSP challenging for a bout at WW as opposed to MW means he cuts in line in front of less challengers.
Dana White on Georges’ Next Opponent
Dana White recently revealed that Georges St. Pierre will face the winner of Damian Maia vs. Tyron Woodley from UFC 214 for the welterweight championship. GSP will have a chance to add to his UFC record 12 title fight victories, as well as regain a title he technically never lost.
Here is what Dana had to say:
“We’re talking about Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia. These two are going to fight soon. That will free up the 170-pound champion for Georges St-Pierre to return and try to regain his belt.”
While the date and location of GSP’s return bout has yet to be officially scheduled, speculation is the UFC would like the bout to happen at UFC 217 in New York. The PPV is scheduled for November 4th.
UFC rushed to do Woodley-Maia in July so they could have winner fight GSP at MSG. 214 is amazing, but I feel for Maia: deserved more time.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 28, 2017
Demian Maia vs. Tyron Woodley
With the winner being guaranteed a spot opposite Georges St. Pierre on one of the company’s biggest PPVs of the year, the stakes just got raised for UFC 214. Now not only is a title on the line, but that precious money-fight Woodley has been calling for ever since winning the championship is as well.
Maia vs. Woodley is 1 of 3 title fights scheduled for UFC 214 on July 29th. The other 2 being Jones vs. Cormier, and Cyborg vs. Evinger.