The former welterweight king returned to the Ultimate Fighting Championship and set his sights on conquering a new division, and on Saturday night he accomplished that goal when he dethroned former champion Michael Bisping.
It was the culmination of what was, arguably, the greatest night in the company’s history with three championships changing hands at Madison Square Garden. Of course, most fans were looking forward to the Dillashaw vs Garbrandt clash, but when reflecting upon what happened it seems as if it was GSP and The Count who stole the show.
Georges came shooting out of the gate as many expected he would, instantly putting pressure on Michael and looking even better than he did prior to his four year absence from the octagon.
To say it caught Bisping off guard would be an understatement, although once Round 2 had begun it became clear that St-Pierre was already beginning to slow down.
All of his added weight was taking its toll and fans were undoubtedly worried that he’d eventually run out of steam, especially after he was cut open the hard way by the Englishman following a takedown.
But then came the latter stages of the fight, where GSP hit something of a second wind and managed to knock the champ down for the second time in the bout. It really highlighted just how far the French Canadian has come in the last few years, and once he secured that choke the finish was academic.
Few can deny that it was a tremendous upset given that it was St-Pierre’s first venture into the 185-pound division, and the possibilities moving forward make things that much more exciting.
Not only can GSP potentially defend his crown against Robert Whittaker, but he can also move back down to his preferred destination of welterweight in order to challenge the seemingly unstoppable Tyron Woodley.
For Bisping, his MMA journey is far from over, and one last rodeo in London next March could prove to be the perfect way in which his career comes to a close.
It wasn’t the greatest middleweight contest in UFC history by any stretch of the imagination, but it was certainly a triumphant return for a man who many thought would never surpass his former glories.