UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping is defending the gold against former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre in the main event of UFC 217.
The middleweight champion feels that the returning GSP has all the power in his relationship with the UFC.
“All that stops Georges from doing - Georges is still in the position of power, much as I don’t like to admit that. Listen, I’m fighting GSP and I have a fan base and people like to watch me fight or people like to see me get knocked out. Win or lose, people do tune in. But GSP is a big name and he brings the huge Canadian market with him and that’s what the UFC are after. They want all those Canadians to start buying the pay-per-views again. From what I’m hearing, pay-per-view sales in Canada haven’t been doing too well lately so they want GSP to come back and they want all those people, all those lumberjacks to start buying the Pay-Per-Views again,” Bisping said on Believe You Me.
This fight is going to mark the first time GSP has competed inside the Octagon since defeating Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 over four years ago.
Bipsing also wants to know just how exactly the UFC plans on forcing GSP to defend the belt if he is successful at UFC 217.
“If, God forbid, he beats me, he has it in the contract that he has to fight Robert Whittaker. But he can retire. He can retire if he wants. They cannot force you to fight. So let’s say he was to say, ‘I retire’ and then say, ‘Hey, listen, I’ll come out of retirement to fight at 170 [pounds]. UFC, do you want to sell all those pay-per-views again, yes or no? It’s up to you.’ So one would assume that he can really do what he wants. They can’t force him to fight,” says Bisping.
UFC 217 takes place on Saturday, November 4 from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York with Michael Bisping and Georges St. Pierre headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.