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Champ Michael Bisping says Georges St-Pierre title bout official for UFC 217 in NYC


UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping claims his next title defense against Georges St-Pierre is finally official, and it will go down at UFC 217 in New York City.

Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) today announced the bout with St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) on FS1’s “UFC Tonight,” on which he frequently serves as a co-host.

“This is actually the third time I’ve been offered this fight, so the ship’s sailed twice,” Bisping said. “On this occasion, on the third occasion, it set off sailing but did a U-turn and it pulled up at New York City. I’ve got a chirpy little Englishman who’s going to fight Georges St-Pierre, Madison Square Garden, Nov. 4. It is official. Do not miss it. We’re taking over.”

UFC 217 takes place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

The matchup has been an on-again, off-again mess after it was announced in March that former UFC welterweight champion St-Pierre would end his more than three-year hiatus to fight Bisping, despite never having competing at 185 pounds.

St-Pierre hasn’t fought since 2013, when he notched his ninth consecutive welterweight title defense with a split-decision victory over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167. St-Pierre then vacated the title and took a break from competition. After St-Pierre recently flirted at a return, UFC officials announced earlier this year that the 36-year-old Canadian MMA great would fight Bisping sometime later in the year.

However, St-Pierre then said he could not fight until at least November due to outside commitments, and an irked UFC President Dana White later said the fight was off and Bisping would instead fight top contender Yoel Romero.

But when Bisping subsequently revealed a knee injury (while St-Pierre declared a lingering eye issue), Plan B for Bisping-Romero also was scrapped. Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) then lost a decision to fellow contender Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) for an interim title earlier this month at UFC 213.

White suggested a knee injury recently suffered by Whittaker opened the door for St-Pierre to cut the line.

With Whittaker the challenger in waiting, White said in July that St-Pierre would instead fight the winner of this past Saturday’s UFC 214 co-headliner between current welterweight champ Tyron Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) and challenger Demian Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC). However, with Woodley’s heavily panned unanimous-decision win over Maia, that apparently opened the door for St-Pierre vs. Bisping.

“I know Michael Bisping will fight,” White said. “He will show up and actually fight.”

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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