In a day and age where rankings and interim title fights do not mean guaranteed title shots, the UFC will always put on fights the fans want to see … especially those that will fill the coffers of their financial directive.
The return of Georges St-Pierre is just around the corner and anytime the Canadian fights, the pay per view buy rate will see a pleasant spike for the promotion. But while GSP vs. middleweight champion Michael Bisping is part superfight and mainly title fight, the money fight for Georges and the UFC is a potential showdown with Conor McGregor.
While Georges has recently dismissed the notion of taking on a “smaller” fighter, the reality is the opposite for all parties involved. “Bigger” is the narrative, as these two gentlemen could easily surpass and smash the UFC’s pay per view record, should they all put their minds to it.
Any discussion or debate of this (or any) mega fight being impossible to put together or “not gonna happen” is wash for yours truly. If a deal could be struck to have Conor McGregor face Floyd Mayweather in a boxing bout, then putting together a fight in the UFC with fighters who are within a weight class of each other is figuratively going to be a cakewalk.
With that being said, Georges has to first get past Bisping, an underrated and underappreciated talent who has a knack for proving his critics and naysayers wrong. Michael is no ‘walk in the park’ for St-Pierre and will give him all (if not more) than he can handle. That bridge must first be crossed before any mention of a GSP / McGregor clash could ever take place.
Then there’s the curious case of UFC President Dana White, whose job description lists ‘spin doctoring’ as a mandatory prerequisite, who suggested flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson should add more wins to his current record of UFC title defenses, instead of taking on the likes of bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt or former champ TJ Dillashaw.
To wit, Garbrandt and Dillashaw have their own beef to settle, and they will do so during as the co-main event for UFC 216, which is headlined by the aforementioned middleweight title fight between Bisping and St-Pierre.
Waiting in the wings for the winner of the bantamweight title fight are top contenders Dominick Cruz, the division's former kingpin, and hot shot contender, Jimmie Rivera, who are scheduled to throwdown on December 30th, at UFC 219.
But while MMA purists and combat sports traditionalists will opine that the bantamweights sort themselves out by year's end, in hopes to set up the next title fight in 2018, the bank account(s) for the UFC are staking their claim that there is much more money to be made in a superfight.
Many are now of the belief that ‘Mighty Mouse’ has finally begun his transcendence into a pay per view draw and thus, the UFC would benefit financially far more from pitting DJ vs. the winner of Cody / TJ, at the very least, perhaps at a catchweight, where neither of the titles are at stake.
St-Pierre vs. McGregor, Johnson vs Garbrandt or Dillashaw are but two superfights that could take place in 2018. Add to the fact where there is smoke, there is often fire. And social media is generally where the source of heat emanates from. Pay close attention to Daniel Cormier and Stipe Mioicic. There will always be Anderson Silva vs. GSP and women’s queenpin Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs. any of the big names below featherweight (although I would not put it past her to accept a fight vs. Cyborg Santos).
While we all want to see as close to perfect rankings and champions who defend their titles, the reality is that money will take precedence over the perceived right thing to do. And since money is the name of the game, do not be surprised if superfights will be the UFC’s theme in 2018.