The new owners of the UFC need desperately to recoup their investment, and their big money-makers – Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey and Jon Jones – are either on break, on the cusp of retirement, or on drugs. What to do? To sell pay-per-views, they needed a ready-made hero. They needed… Georges St-Pierre.
St-Pierre was the UFC’s superstar four years ago, but he retired when Johny Hendricks very nearly beat him. And yet, money talks, and when you’re offered middleweight champ Michael Bisping as an opponent, and with Madison Square Garden as the venue, why not come out of retirement? This is your UFC 217 folks. Soak it up.
They come out for Round 1 and, after a brief period of analysis, start trading jabs and kicks. Despite the layoff, GSP shows little ring rust, and marks his opponent’s face up. Bisping gets wobbled, returns fire, and St-Pierre shoots and takes him down. Bisping gets back up and eats a Superman punch – this fight is probably a bit tougher than he expected it would be.
It takes some time, but Bisping finally figures out his timing, and in the second he nails GSP with a right hand that makes the Canadian see aliens (get it? Because GSP believes in alien abductions and whatnot?). St-Pierre scores another takedown, but the Brit scrambles up and resumes his boxing offense, and the former welterweight king is clearly slowing down.
Round 3 opens with GSP getting Bisping down and working from top position. Bisping cuts him with an elbow from the bottom, and then scrambles up to continue winning the striking battle. The momentum shifts with GSP drops him with a left, and they’re grappling, with St-Pierre taking Bisping’s back and slipping on a choke. Bisping refuses to tap, and instead goes to sleep. St-Pierre is your new middleweight champ!
Results: Georges St-Pierre def. Michael Bisping via Technical Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:23, R3