UFC boss says St-Pierre will face Bisp­ing af­ter all

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - NEIL DAVIDSON

The UFC has de­cided against match­ing Ge­orges St-Pierre with cur­rent ti­tle-holder Ty­ron (The Cho­sen One) Wood­ley, opt­ing in­stead to re­turn to its orig­i­nal plan and have the Cana­dian star make his come­back against mid­dleweight cham­pion Michael Bisp­ing.

UFC pres­i­dent Dana White made the an­nounce­ment af­ter Wood­ley’s cal­cu­lated but drab ti­tle de­fence against Brazil­ian sub­mis­sion ace Demian Maia at UFC 214 on Satur­day night.

“Be­cause I know Michael Bisp­ing will fight,” White told the post-fight news con­fer­ence when asked about the change in op­po­nent.

“Michael Bisp­ing will show up and he will fight. So yeah, I’m go­ing to give it to him.”

Sources say White is look­ing at a bout on Nov. 4 at Madi­son Square Gar­den in New York City.

The 36-year-old St-Pierre, who has not fought since Novem­ber 2013, re­acted to the news with a thumbs-up and happy face emoji in a text to The Cana­dian Press.

He also posted a pic­ture of him hav­ing break­fast with coach Jorge Blanco, say­ing he had “started plan­ning how I’m gonna beat Bisp­ing!”

The change must have come as news to Wood­ley who, in his post­fight in­ter­view in the cage Satur­day, cited St-Pierre as his next as­sign­ment on Nov. 4.

White was un­happy at the lack of spec­ta­cle in the Wood­ley-Maia fight, which set a record for the least amount of punches thrown in a five-round UFC ti­tle fight.

Wood­ley con­nected on just 57 of 153 at­tempted sig­nif­i­cant strikes, while stuff­ing all 21 take­down at­tempts from Maia.

The Brazil­ian was good on only 28 of 89 sig­nif­i­cant strike at­tempts, ac­cord­ing to FightMet­ric.

Wood­ley (18-3-1) was un­apolo­getic af­ter the fight, call­ing it “a chess match and I won it con­vinc­ingly.”

Bisp­ing is the high-pro­file op­po­nent St-Pierre wanted in end­ing his hia­tus in Fe­bru­ary when he signed a new con­tract with the UFC.

But White pulled it from the table af­ter the Mon­treal star said he wasn’t ready to fight un­til Novem­ber be­cause of an eye in­jury.

The 38-year-old Bisp­ing, who is re­turn­ing from an in­jured knee, was slated to meet in­terim cham­pion Robert Whit­taker next.

St. Pierre (25-2-0) left the sport on a 12-fight win streak, say­ing he needed the break be­cause his life had be­come “com­pletely in­sane.” Fac­ing Bisp­ing means mov­ing up a weight class, from 170 to 185 pounds.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.