On November 4, UFC 217 will see reigning middleweight champion Michael Bisping take on returning legend of mixed martial arts Georges St-Pierre at Madison Square Garden, New York. The fight itself looks to present quite a stark contrast in style, but the build-up itself couldn’t set the two fighters apart more.
St-Pierre has been going about the promotion of the headline fight with his usual calm and collected demeanor, accepting the challenge ahead of him while being polite and clear thinking. Michael Bisping, on the other hand, has been rather brash in his statements, seeking to undermine the Canadian star as often as he can. This extends to his comments on his podcast ‘Believe You Me’, in which he stated:
“[Georges St-Pierre] is actually in LA a lot of these days. He’s been at the Wild Card Boxing Gym, training with Freddie Roach. I have a couple of spies in there, by the way, and they told me some info.
The fighter from Manchester, England continued to state that he now knows what GSP has been working on and that those areas will not work on him on fight night. Despite this the latest boxing odds see Georges St-Pierre as the slight favorite at -143 to Michael Bisping’s odds of +120. He may have spies, and he may be the defending champion, but Bisping is expected to have a tough time in the Octagon when he meets GSP.
When St-Pierre took a break from the sport in 2013 – following his split decision win over Johny Hendricks – he claimed he was no longer enjoying the sport, only fighting because he had to. But he kept up his training during his time off, and must now feel the urge to win a fight once more. So, not only has he kept up his training, but the Canadian former UFC champion also has the desire to win – once again making him a force in the mixed martial arts world.
With his training continuing over the last four years – but naturally not to the same intensity as it would have been in the running to a fight – you can bet that Georges St- Pierre still has his immense repertoire of martial arts disciplines under his belt, ready to be unleashed as he so wishes. Being one of the most athletic and well-rounded fighters perhaps ever, it doesn’t really matter if Bisping has spies watching St-Pierre at the Wild Card Boxing Gym because the challenger can switch tactics whenever he pleases.
With Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling, Kyokushin, his primary fighting styles, GSP also ranks as a black belt in Gaidojutu, Shidokan, Kyokushin Kaikan, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so he’s incredibly versatile in the octagon. Michael Bisping, on the other hand, specializes in Kickboxing, Boxing, Karate, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, ranking as a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Yawara Ryu Ju-Jitsu.
St-Pierre is certainly the more talented and adaptable fighter on paper, but Bisping’s champion story has been built on him overcoming the odds, fighting with heart and grit to find a way to take the victory. UFC 217 is set to be an exciting event for all mixed martial arts fans to enjoy.