Will Georges St-Pierre win on his long-awaited return to the octagon?

September 20, 2017

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Will Georges St-Pierre win on his long-awaited return to the octagon?



The big fight is nearly upon us; UFC 217 is just around the corner. On November 4 at Madison Square Garden, New York, the man who many consider to be one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all-time, Georges St-Pierre, will take on Michael Bisping in his grand return to the octagon.

Back in 2013, St-Pierre stated that he needed to take some much needed time off after defeating Johny Hendricks by split decision. When the topic of his return surfaced in 2015, UFC president Dana White was adamant that GSP wouldn’t return to the fighting promotion, stating: “I don’t think so, buddy… You’ve got to want to win; you’ve got to want to be a world champion. He’s had it. He’s accomplished all that.”

But now, after a four-year hiatus which included having an acting role in four films including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Canadian legend is ready to make his comeback to UFC, and he’ll be facing the champion to do so. In June 2016, Michael Bisping defeated Luke Rockhold to claim the middleweight championship belt, despite having just 17 days’ notice. The 6’1’’ Englishman became the first British UFC champion by knocking out Rockhold in the first round and then defended his title against Dan Henderson in October of last year.

St-Pierre never uttered the words “retirement” when he embarked on his break from fighting, and now the Canadian superstar will be returning at the age of 36, with his opponent two-years his senior. But the long-time welterweight champion claims to be in great shape having kept up his training over the last four years.

One the many aspects that has made GSP so successful is his mastery of a huge range of martial arts. He boasts black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as well as in many forms of karate, and has a wealth of experience in boxing, wrestling, and Muay Thai under his belt, deciding to concentrate on karate in training leading to his big return. Tristar Gym in Montreal, Quebec, has become renowned as one of the best mixed martial arts training facilities thanks to the emergence and sustained success of GSP.

Bisping has proven that he can upset the odds and produce fascinating match-ups, as shown by his five Fight of Night bonuses and two Performance of the Night bonuses – which is more than St-Pierre has won. Utilising Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, boxing, and karate, the Manchester, England native has proven to be a strong contender since moving down to middleweight in April 2008.

Regardless of the skill or natural size advantage that Michael Bisping has, Georges St-Pierre has so many fighting styles in his repertoire that he can counter almost any style as well as pop a number of surprises. This has led to the defending champion being at 13/10 to defeat the former champion, who is at 8/13 with William Hill – a brand which often reviewed and ranked among Canada’s best sports betting sites. With his wide range of skill, GSP can be as random as he wants on the attack, and his defence isn’t too shabby either. Through the 27 fights leading to his 25-2-0 record, St-Pierre has avoided 73 percent of strikes shot at him as well as 84 percent of the takedowns attempted on him.

With a strike success rate of 38 percent and a takedown success rate of 43 percent, on paper, Bisping may not even be able to get close to the already legendary St-Pierre, but his adaptability and all-heart performance will keep the Englishman in the fight for longer than the former champion would want.

While all the hype is swirling around Georges St-Pierre and his return to the UFC, Michael Bisping is preparing for the biggest fight of his career. Strangely, though, he’s not at as long-odds as you’d think – meaning that the bookies are giving the bigger man a fair chance of retaining his title.

UFC 217 is getting ever-closer, and Michael Bisping versus Georges St-Pierre is set to be one of the biggest fights of the year; the underdog defending champion against one of the greatest fighters of all-time, with both of them still in prime fighting condition, it’s going to be a grand occasion.

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