Though he hasn’t spoken directly with UFC president Dana White about it yet, middleweight champion Michael Bisping has come to the realization that his fight with Georges St-Pierre is likely not happening and an interim middleweight title fight is in the offing.
White has publicly stated that the Bisping vs. St-Pierre fight is now off the table after St-Pierre said he wouldn’t be ready to fight until at least November. He instead wanted to match Bisping against Yoel Romero for the middleweight strap.
Bisping has been busy filming a movie and taking care of other business, so he has yet to talk personally with White, but in addition to realizing the St-Pierre fight is likely off, he admitted that his knee won’t allow him to fight Romero, or anyone else, anytime soon.
“I know they’re trying to move on from the GSP fight. From my understanding, it looks like the GSP fight isn’t happening,” Bisping said during a recent episode of his podcast. “I’ve yet to have a discussion with them about this. From my understanding, Georges still wants to fight me and I still want to fight Georges. So this is what I want to know: I want to know what the problem is. It seems the UFC have moved on, they got tired of waiting or whatever. But, to my understanding, the fight was never gonna really happen in July anyway. I heard that from some sources right at the start. They said, ‘we’re hoping for July 8th, but it’s probably not gonna be that.’
“Now they’re saying they want to do a fight in July and I said my knee isn’t gonna be ready in July. Certainly is nowhere near gonna be ready. (St-Pierre) isn’t gonna be ready until October or November. So to me, that plays perfectly, but I know UFC want me to fight and they’re saying if I can’t fight, they’re gonna do an interim title fight.”
Bisping still intends to lobby for the St-Pierre fight, but if the UFC does an interim title fight, as White has said they are now eyeing, Bisping will likely be forced to fight the winner. He may not like the idea of losing out on the substantial payday that a St-Pierre fight would represent, Bisping agrees with White that the likely match-up for any interim title fight would be Romero versus streaking contender Robert Whittaker.
“I’m assuming that they’re probably gonna do an interim title fight, but I’ve got to speak to Dana, but I can’t fight in July,” Bisping said, adding his thoughts on a match-up. “Probably Whittaker vs. Yoel. If I were the matchmakers, that’s what I would do.
“Whittaker, we all know this, he’s on an absolute tear. I’ve got nothing against Robert Whittaker. Fine young man, great fighter, fights hard, got a lot of respect for him. Can’t say the same about Yoel. Yoel is certainly not on my Christmas card list. We all know my thoughts on him. He’s a scumbag, he’s a cheat, and that’s about that. So if they do fight, I’m hoping Whittaker beats the brains out of him. Then I’ll beat Whittaker up soundly.”
The UFC has yet to make an official announcement, but everything is pointing toward Romero vs. Whittaker for an interim belt.