MPO Year in Review: No. 3 GSP Returns

December 31, 2017

2017 saw the return of Georges St Pierre as he faced Michael Bisping at UFC 217 in New York this November.  GSP’s return came with much fanfare, but his future with the company remains uncertain.

The matchup with Bisping appeared handpicked by GSP for his return.  It was scheduled for July’s UFC International Fight Week event, but was postponed due to injuries to both fighters.  FS1 aired a 30-minute special documenting the return of the former welterweight champion.  The PPV had the best buy rate (estimated at 875,000 buys) in an otherwise down year for the company.

GSP looked rusty but had enough to stop Bisping to win the middleweight title.  However, it became clear that this was a “one off” for St Pierre because he relinquished the title shortly after winning it.  White.  GSP claimed ulcerative colitis was the reason for giving the title up as he was slated to unify the titles against Robert Whittaker.  White was upset with GSP but he came to terms with the fact it was expected that he did not want to go up against a very competitive (and younger) division.

Will we see GSP again in the UFC?  You have to think that once he gets healthy, he will fall back into the UFC’s good graces.  He is a proven PPV draw on a roster that has few.  The question will be whether he will be able to dictate another “one off” fight with the UFC and if the new owners would be willing to dole out the cash for it.  Something tells me that if they can have him return in July for International Fight Week, the UFC will do it.

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