mma / Columns

When It’s Bisping vs. GSP vs. UFC, Everyone Loses

May 16, 2017 | Posted by Evan Zivin
UFC 217 - Georges St-Pierre Michael Bisping

Hey guys. Bad news. The upcoming UFC Middleweight Championship fight between champion Michael Bisping (I know, right?) and former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has been cancelled.

Yeah. Sorry to be the one to break it to you. Well, after every other major news outlet already did, although not all of them went far enough to use the “C” word, as some chose to settle on “It don’t look good.”

That despite the fact UFC President Dana White gave an interview last week where he said the company would be, “Moving on” from the matchup.

Then again, it is Dana White, and we all know his word can be trusted about as well as Yair Rodriguez can defend a Frankie Edgar takedown.

Seriously, did you see that whooping he took at UFC 211 on Saturday night? Man, I wonder if the UFC can find the answer to stopping “The Answer” from wrecking any more future title contenders…maybe if someone knew how to throw illegal knees as well as Eddie Alvarez…

Plus, we all know GSP wants the fight, as his doughy training video a few weeks back proved. Plus, Bipsing wants the fight, or at least wants the payday attached to the fight.

Honestly, I don’t know who or what to believe right now.

It seems reasonable to conclude the fight is off for the fact that the news came directly from the mouth of Papa Dana, and we all know he’s a pretty straight shooter, except when he chooses to lie to our faces, which he does quite a lot.

It’s not at all unreasonable to wonder if what Dana said was nothing more than a negotiating tactic to get the fight booked when he wants it, as the UFC and Bisping both want the fight to happen in July but GSP says he can’t commit to anything before October.

If that is what’s going on here, It wouldn’t be the first time Dana’s done something like this.

We’ve all been around the sport long enough to understand the logic here: UFC says they want Fighter to compete on a certain date, Fighter says that date isn’t going to work. UFC says to make it work, Fighter says they can’t do it. UFC goes to the media and says Fighter is being unreasonable and that they should do what’s best for the company, Fighter says UFC is being unreasonable and is not looking out for their best interests. UFC and Fighter continue to bicker for an indeterminate amount of time, usually through the lead up and aftermath of a UFC Payperview, just to make sure nobody is talking about it.

I’m sorry, Stipe. You deserve so much better than this.

The end result to all this nonsense is usually nothing getting worked out, UFC doing what they’re going to do regardless of what anyone else thinks, and everyone pouting the entire car ride home and going straight to bed without any dinner.

Works every time…

The thing about all this is, while GSP is being portrayed as the unreasonable one, he’s been completely consistent regarding his return. He has said this entire time that, while he wants the Bisping fight, he will not be able to step back in the Octagon before the fall. He’s been saying that since before the initial fight announcement and the press conference where a hungover Bisping shouted random insults while GSP explained to the audience in attendance how stock markets work.

Seriously, Georges must have a strong portfolio. I wonder if he consulted with his financial planner before deciding to fight again.

Obviously, the ideal date for the fight would be in July. Bisping wanted the fight to headline UFC 213, the big July 4th weekend show (or close enough), which would have been perfect. It’d be the biggest fight of the year topping what is traditionally the biggest event of the year. It makes sense.

But GSP wasn’t having it. He says he can’t fight in the summer due to sponsorship commitments, namely Bud Light Living Rooms, a Bud Light Canada promotion that allows fans (Canadian fans, I assume) the chance to…do random stuff with random celebrities…or something.

Apparently it’s not a contest. It’s Bud Light putting together events and letting fans the chance to book time at them. One of the events is a backstage fan experience at UFC 216 in Edmonton on September 9 and it sounds like part of the experience involves hanging out with GSP, possibly while he kicks beer cans off your head.

Damn, Bud Light Canada. You’re really bringing the goods. That sounds better than what they do down here. Remember when Bud Light had that ad campaign where they ruined a Colorado town for a weekend in the name of being “Up for Whatever” (not including things like murder, rape, drinking anything other than Bud Light, etc.)? I bet if you had tried to sneak a Miller Lite into that place, there would have been a SWAT team on you in seconds. Fun times…

So wait a minute. UFC is working with Bud Light, one of their biggest sponsors, to bring an amazing experience to fans at one of their events, which includes the chance to meet one of the biggest stars in the company, and they are upset at said star for not being willing to fight before it?

That’s not cool, UFC. I mean, wouldn’t booking Georges in a fight before that event be a bad idea to begin with? What happens if he gets seriously injured? What happens if he can’t recover soon enough to take part in the promotion? UFC doesn’t have another canadian fighter anywhere near as popular and beloved as Georges if they were forced to replace him. Who could they get to do it instead? Nick Diaz?

Now that I think about it, cannabis leaves do have a similar shape to maple leaves…

Yeah, I don’t think pissing off one of your biggest sponsors is a good idea.

C’mon, UFC. That’s low. The fact that you even committed to the fight without having a date set in stone was dumb enough. Now you’re going to cancel the fight and blame one of the fighters involved for choosing to fulfill their promotional obligations instead?

Is that even why the fight is being called off? Is Dana even all that upset that Georges is asking to fight in October or November, or is he just acting like he is because it was the only strategy he could come up with to save face after all the outrage expressed by fans over the fact the promotion is so money-grubbing they would rather give a title fight to a challenger who has never competed in that weight class than give it to one of the literal handful of contenders, all of whom have a legitimate claim to that fight, forcing them to either wait forever or cannibalize each other instead?

I mean, seriously. Did you see how pissed off Luke Rockhold got over the situation? How can UFC make someone that handsome that angry?

Then again, I did see a lot of fans respond to that by blaming Luke for causing all of this since he’s the one who lost the belt to Bisping in the first place. You do you, various MMA comments sections.

I don’t blame Luke for this, just as I don’t blame Bisping for this. He’s doing what anyone else would have done when presented with a fight against one of the biggest names the sport has ever known. Of course he agreed to the fight.

He took it, however he also said he wanted to fight earlier than the fall. He even gave Georges an ultimatum that he wanted a July date or he’d give the fight to Yoel Romero instead, which we all know he doesn’t want to do since why fight with integrity when you can get paid instead, right?

I don’t blame Bisping for jumping at an opportunity that was presented to him. I don’t blame Georges for holding firm to the conditions he laid out from the get go. I do blame UFC for screwing up the whole situation as only they could, but at least now they’re trying to make things right, saying that Bisping will indeed face Romero next.

Except, of course, no date has been confirmed for that fight either. Nothing has been confirmed for anything. GSP is hoping the fight with Bisping is still on. Bisping himself has been quiet about the whole thing. Romero is probably babbling incoherently on someone’s radio show about gay Jesus.

I seriously do not know what to believe about any of this. All I know is that, however everything shakes out, Bobby Knuckles will be waiting for the winner.

And you do not want to keep Bobby Knuckles waiting for long…you can’t run from The Reaper forever.

There. Now I’ve covered my bases in case Robert Whittaker is still trying to get people to stop calling him Bobby Knuckles, even if it is the greatest nickname a member of the media ever bestowed upon a fighter.

Embrace it, Bobby. It is who you are.

Evan Zivin has been writing for 411 MMA since May of 2013. Evan loves the sport, and likes to takes a lighthearted look at the world of MMA in his writing…usually.