Georges St-Pierre Chokes Out Michael Bisping to Become Middleweight Champion at UFC 217

November 5, 2017

Georges St-Pierre wanted to come back to the UFC to add onto his legacy as one of the greatest fighters of all time.

Consider it mission accomplished as St-Pierre choked out Michael Bisping in the third round at UFC 217 to become the new middleweight champion in a very impressive outing, as he returned to action for the first time in nearly four years.

The victory also makes St-Pierre the fourth fighter in UFC history — joining Conor McGregor, Randy Couture and B.J. Penn — to hold titles in two different weight classes.

St-Pierre didn’t look like he skipped a beat after such a long layoff as he came out with a stiff jab as soon as the fight got underway, opening a slight cut under Bisping’s eye.

With less than 60 seconds left in the round, St-Pierre finally rushed forward to grab a leg and he completed his first takedown of the fight although Bisping was very quick to get back to his feet.

Georges St-Pierre

Still, St-Pierre knocked loose any cobwebs that were leftover from that long layoff and he certainly looked like himself throughout the first round.

St-Pierre began to set the pace again in round two with a good inside leg kick followed by straight punches right down the middle. Bisping finally figured out St-Pierre’s timing with that combination when he unleashed a perfectly timed right hand that blasted the former welterweight champion.

The punch definitely got St-Pierre’s attention as he went for his second takedown of the fight, putting Bisping down on the ground yet again. Much like the first takedown, however, Bisping was quickly back to his feet before cracking St-Pierre with another stiff right hand.

It was clear that St-Pierre was slowing down in the latter part of that second round and Bisping started getting more aggressive with his combinations.

St-Pierre went back to his bread and butter with a takedown to start the third with Bisping throwing elbows from the bottom. At least one of the elbows opened a cut on St-Pierre’s head as blood started to trickle down his face.

Bisping’s attacks continued as he kept slicing away at St-Pierre with elbows until the cut widened and it covered the Canadian’s face with blood.

Just when it looked like the momentum was shifting in Bisping’s direction, St-Pierre blasted the Brit with a counter left hook that connected flush and sent him flailing to the mat. St-Pierre followed up with some ground and pound but it looked for a moment like perhaps Bisping was getting his senses back as he started to work his way back to the feet.

As it turns out, that just gave St-Pierre the opening he needed to jump on Bisping’s back and lock up the rear naked choke as they fell back to the ground. St-Pierre tightened his grip and Bisping refused to tap, but a few seconds later he was unconscious as the referee pried them apart to call a stop to the contest at 4:23 into the third round.

“I don’t have the words in my mouth right now. It’s my dream come true,” St-Pierre said following the win.

While St-Pierre is now the reigning middleweight champion of the world, there still remains a question on whether or not he’ll actually stay in the division. Prior to the fight, St-Pierre said that he was contractually obligated to defend the title if he won, but it’s hard to imagine the UFC would force him to stay at 185 pounds if there’s a chance that he could make another huge matchup against current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley instead.

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“This is not really my real weight,” St-Pierre said. “I did it for the challenge. There was a time in my career, I was too busy, the challenges were one after another and I was too small to go up. I was even small for a welterweight.”

For now, St-Pierre will just enjoy his victory and wait to decide what comes next in his career. As for Bisping, the former champion graciously congratulated St-Pierre on the win but also confirmed that despite considering retirement ahead of this card that he wasn’t going anywhere but back to the gym to get ready for another fight in the Octagon.

“You’ve got to give it up to Georges. He was the better man tonight,” Bisping said.

“I’m not done. I know I spoke about retirement but Georges was the better man tonight. Simple as that. No excuses. He beat me. He f–king choked me out. Congratulations Georges.”

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