The bad blood went to another level at Friday’s UFC 217 press conference in Las Vegas, Nevada between UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping and former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
The promotion for this event just got taken to another notch thanks to Bisping, who was on top of his game.
The fight got delayed and then supposedly canceled, people moved on from the incident. Now it’s back on, and Bisping is turning up the heat.
Despite the rollercoaster ride that this fight has been on over the last several months, Bisping always thought his date with St-Pierre would happen.
“I knew this fight would come off, because he hasn’t got the balls to fight anyone that he doesn’t think he can beat, like Anderson Silva, like many other people,” Bisping said today at a news conference (transcript courtesy of MMA Junkie).
“So, one time I’ve been offered the fight (with Silva) is when I stopped fighting after my fight with Hendricks,” St-Pierre said. “After my fight with Hendricks, (UFC President) Dana (White) called me and said, ‘Do you want to fight Anderson Silva?’ But I didn’t want to fight anybody. Not Silva. You would have put a three-foot midget, and (I wouldn’t want to fight him). I just wanted to take a break. That’s the only time.
“There’s been a lot of talk about fighting, but never has anything significant been proposed. It’s all rumor and talks. If I go up in weight class, I need time to gain weight and adjust myself for that challenge. At that time, I was very busy. I had challenge after challenge. I was fighting all these guys at 170 that were challenging me one after the other. So if I do something, I want to focus on it and do it well. That’s why I’ve been preparing myself for more than six months to fight Bisping. And I put on some weight, and I feel good now, it feels natural, and I’m ready to go.”
“He didn’t want to fight because Johny Hendricks hit him in the head so many times, he thought he’d been abducted by aliens,” he shot back. “I’m surprised you’re not wearing a tinfoil hat today to stop the messages coming. Dude, I’m going to hit you so many times, you’re going to think you’re going to disappear on the mothership.”
Make no mistake about it, he is happy that GSP picked him to be his next opponent. However, he knows a lot about facing supposed doubters. In the past, he has been written off after multiple high-profile losses.
“I’ve never avoided a fight in my life,” Bisping said. “And Dana is standing right here. In fact, I accepted the winner of Yoel (Romero) vs. (Robert) Whittaker (at UFC 213). We figured it all out. Prior to them fighting, in the backroom, I accepted the fight with Whittaker or Romero.
“Whittaker won the right, so that means Romero is at the back of the line, and then Whittaker didn’t want to do ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and injured his knee. So that leaves me without a fight again, and in the meantime, ‘GSP’ grew a pair.”
UFC 217 is set to take place on Saturday, November 4th in New York at Madison Square Garden. Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw for the UFC bantamweight title is expected to serve as the co-main event. The main card will air on pay-per-view while the preliminary card will air on FOX Sports 1 and the promotion’s streaming service, UFC Fight Pass.