Georges St-Pierre still anticipates a return to the Octagon later this year with middleweight champion Michael Bisping as his opponent.
The showdown between the two fighters was first announced in March and then several weeks ago UFC president Dana White declared that the fight was no longer happening due to delays in St-Pierre’s return to action.
St-Pierre then revealed an eye injury that was keeping him sidelined until at least November, which was then followed up by Bisping revealing that he wouldn’t be ready for several months due to a lingering problem with his knee.
As it turns out, St-Pierre finally talked to White where they hashed out their concerns about the fight and the delays pushing it back until later this year and the former welterweight champion came away with a positive attitude that the bout would move forward.
“I’m positive, I think it will happen. I think it does happen,” St-Pierre told TSN in Canada on Thursday. “I think after the conversation I had with him because the problem with Dana and it’s my mistake, we talk through reporters. I think it’s good that we talk to each other and we can see where our minds are at work together for the benefits of the UFC, of me, for the fans, it makes everybody happy.”
“Now I think everybody understand and Bisping has an injury, too, so I think it will be perfect timing when we get back to square up.”
According to St-Pierre, his conversation with White also included his argument about why the fight made sense as he looks to return to the Octagon for the first time in four years.
St-Pierre wants a big challenge in his first fight back, and he believes moving up a division to compete for the middleweight title is exactly what would push him even more as he looks to re-establish himself as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the history of the sport.
“I talked to Dana [White] a few days ago and I tried to convince him that if I come back, it needs to be a situation that I have a lot to risk but I need something that I can gain from it. So big risk, big reward,” St-Pierre explained. “Fighting Michael Bisping, that’s what it would give me. He’s the one that has the most wins in UFC history, he just beat my record by one, but if I beat him, I will beat him, I know Michael will retire I think if he ever loses.
“So he hasn’t fought in more than a year and I haven’t fought for it will be four years, so it’s a perfect fight. It’s a fight everybody wants to do and he’s been saying a lot of stuff about me, that I was postponing the fight, that I was afraid, but I’m not afraid. The real reason is the eye injury, I had a surgery done and if he wants to do it, I’m ready to make him eat his words.”
Of course, White didn’t make any official announcement regarding the proposed matchup but St-Pierre left their conversation feeling confident that he would face Bisping later this year.
“I talked to Dana and at the end of the conversation he said we’ll figure it out,” St-Pierre said. “We’ll see what happens. Hopefully it happens.”
As far as a location for the fight, St-Pierre would like nothing more than to fight on the next card taking place at Madison Square Garden in New York with the UFC tentatively planning on a return there in November.
St-Pierre has long-standing ties to the New York area after training there for many of his fights, not to mention his hometown of Montreal is only a quick flight away.
“That would be great, a historical moment,” St-Pierre said about fighting in New York. “Make it as big as possible for the UFC, for the fans, for everybody. I think it would be the fight everybody wants to see.”