GEORGES St-Pierre doesn’t seem all that concerned about Michael Bisping’s ultimatum.
Just recently, Bisping expressed his anger over the continued delays in putting together the fight with St-Pierre, which was first rumoured for UFC 213 in July but now appears won’t happen until sometime in the fall.
Bisping stated that if St-Pierre wasn’t ready to fight in the summer that he would move onto No.1 ranked contender Yoel Romero rather than sitting around and waiting for the former welterweight champion to get ready.
“If he wants to wait until September or October then he can go find himself another opponent, buddy. Because I call the shots,” Bisping said.
“Without sounding like an a***hole, it’s my belt I’m the champion and I’m not willing to sit around until September or October. This fight was discussed in January. A fight camp only takes eight weeks or six weeks. Fighting in September or October is ridiculous.”
St-Pierre heard what Bisping had to say but he’s just not buying it because he knows the outspoken Brit wants this fight for any number of reasons including the massive payday he’ll earn.
“I think he’s lying,” St-Pierre told RT Sport. “I know he wants to fight me and I want to fight him. This fight’s going to give him more money. It comes down to his decision but if he wants to do it, I’m down to do it. That’s who I’m getting ready for.
“If things change, I’m going to have to turn around and do a quick turn around but no problem, I can do it, but he’s the man, the one that has the belt. For me, he’s the highest stock right now and I always aim for the higher guy.”
It’s a fresh hold-up for the middleweight division, with Bisping having already taken a revenge fight against Dan Henderson for his first title defence last October. Should Bisping vs GSP go ahead as planned and be pushed back to late 2017, the division’s wait for a more conventional title match between the champion and a top contender will ultimately push out to well beyond a year – with Romero, at this stage, still meant to take the next shot.
That’s if Bisping prevails. Should GSP win the belt, things may change, with the returning legend’s stated aim to take the biggest, richest fights available.
A St-Pierre win may even open the door for the GSP vs Anderson Silva superfight to finally happen, should ‘The Spider’s’ results stack up in the meantime. The Brazilian legend, ranked No.7 contender, was meant to face Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 212 but the unpredictable American tested positive to marijuana and was axed from the card. Silva would likely need a big win for a match with GSP to be at all credible, given his last fight was a highly dubious decision win over Derek Brunson and the five that preceded it produced four losses and a no-contest.
New Zealand-born Aussie Robert Whittaker on Sunday put himself in the frame for a middleweight title shot with a stunning Round 2 TKO win over No.3 contender Jacare Souza. Former champion and No.2 contender Luke Rockhold reached out to the Aussie striker (ranked No.6) for his next fight, while Gegard Mousasi (No.4) is another potential match-up.
While former champion Chris Weidman (three consecutive losses) and Jacare are now on the slide, Romero, Rockhold, Mousasi and Whittaker all have legitimate title shot claims. After demolishing Jacare, Whittaker called out Bisping but UFC president Dana White said the Aussie’s shot was not likely to arrive any time soon.
All Whittaker can do for now is beat whoever is put in front of him, as impressively as possible, with the division somewhat in gridlock.
As far as the delays for the next title fight go, St-Pierre says part of the reason revolves around entering back into the drug testing pool as part of the UFC’s anti-doping policy. Fighters returning from retirement or an extended layoff were required to undergo four months of drug testing once re-entering the pool administered by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency).
Those rules just recently changed on April 1 where returning fighters are now required to undergo six months of drug testing before gaining clearance to compete. Now it’s likely St-Pierre fell into the former category considering his fight with Bisping was announced well ahead of the April 1 change and according to USADA records, he has been drug tested once since re-entering the pool this year.
St-Pierre says that timeline along with some other outside factors made him push back the fight from the proposed summer date on July 8.
“There’s no date yet because we have to go through a lot of process with USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) with the anti-doping thing, so before we’re cleared to fight we have to go through that process and some other stuff going on. Soon we should have a date,” St-Pierre said.
As far as a timeline goes, St-Pierre could only speculate based on the current information available to him.
“I think it will be after the summer,” St-Pierre stated.
The extra time off will certainly be used advantageously as St-Pierre continues to pack on the pounds as he gets ready for his first fight outside of the welterweight division since joining the UFC roster in 2004.
St-Pierre says he’s adding additional weight now so the move to 185-pounds won’t be such a dramatic difference but even if he’s giving up size and power to Bisping, the result will still be the same in the end.
“It doesn’t matter that he’s taller and bigger than me,” St-Pierre said. “The only difference that it’s going to make is when he hits the floor it’s going to make a bigger boom.”
Originally published as The problem with Aussie’s UFC title charge
SOURCE: newsnow sport