This probably won’t earn Michael Bisping any new fans.
The polarizing UFC middleweight champion, who has the MMA world at his proverbial fingertips following his shocking knockout win over Luke Rockhold in the main event of June 4’s UFC 199, has been linked to a rematch with longtime rival Dan Henderson in the main event of October’s rumored UFC 204 from Manchester, England.
It’s a rematch he’s understandably wanted since ‘Hendo’ infamously starched him with arguably the most iconic knockout in UFC history at 2009’s UFC 100, but apparently he turned down an absolute massive fight to get it.
All-time great former UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre is reportedly closer than ever to returning to the octagon, ‘GSP’s’ famed boxing coach Freddie Roach recently met up with Fight Hub TV to reveal that ‘The Count’ actually turned down the high-profile bout:
St. Pierre recently unveiled his desire to face Bisping on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, citing only a need to hammer out his contract situation with the UFC, as he’s sponsored by athletic apparel giant Under Armor while the UFC obviously has a long-term deal with Reebok.
But Roach said the fight most likely won’t happen because Bisping said no (quotes transcribed by Bloody Elbow):
“Yeah, I do like that fight, but Bisping said no. I know that that fight’s not going to happen.”
Roach added that even though that fight may be off, St. Pierre will continue to negotiate with the UFC, although it may be with the new owners after talent group WME-IMG bought the UFC earlier this week for a record $4 billion:
“He’s negotiating with the — well, he was negotiating with the Fertitta brothers. But I heard a rumor the company just got sold and bought by Ari Emanuel or someone. Maybe more than one person is involved is what I heard, but I don’t know exactly who owns UFC right now. He’ll negotiate with somebody, I’m sure.”
As for St. Pierre’s readiness to truly come back to fighting, Roach said he’s looked fantastic in training. All he needs is an opponent, and no names have surfaced as of late:
“He looked really good in training. He did really well. But the thing is, there are no names out there yet. We haven’t picked anyone or we don’t have a favorite at this point.”
With Bisping seemingly angering his divisional rivals Chris Weidman, Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza, and Rockhold with his decision to face No. 13-ranked Henderson in order to settle a grudge, the decision to reportedly also turn down a blockbuster bout with St. Pierre is guaranteed to ruffle more feathers.
Did ‘The Count’ miss the boat on what could have been his biggest-ever payday, or will it still come to fruition?