The announced middleweight title fight between champion Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre is off.
UFC president Dana White broke the news on Wednesday that St-Pierre had been removed from the bout and top contender Yoel Romero would take on Bisping instead.
The fight promotion held a press conference in early March to reveal that the former welterweight champion was returning to the Octagon for the first time since 2013 and would challenge Bisping in his return fight.
St-Pierre recently indicated that he would not be fight ready until after October. That timeline did not work for the UFC.
“I made this GSP fight, we did a press conference. The thing was supposed to happen in July. Michael Bisping is going to have to defend his title now. We’re not waiting for GSP,” White told FOX Sports Australia’s UFC Fight Week.
“(Yoel) doesn’t need to voice his opinion on why he needs a title shot. He definitely deserves a title shot. He’s next in line. He’s the No.1 ranked guy in the world,” said White. “Georges St-Pierre was coming back. Bisping and St-Pierre, they both wanted that fight. We asked Yoel to step aside; he did. It doesn’t look like that fight is gonna happen now.”
Many fighters in the middleweight division have criticized St-Pierre receiving a title shot, including Romero. It’s unclear when St-Pierre will return or whom he’ll face when he does.
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“Georges St-Pierre is saying he will not be ready to compete now until November. Who knows if that’s even the case? It could be next year,” said White. “So we’re not waiting for Georges St-Pierre anymore. We’re moving on with the division, and Yoel Romero will get the next shot.“