Before his bout with Dan Henderson got booked, there were reports that Michael Bisping may have his first defense against Georges St-Pierre. The longtime welterweight champ was negotiating for a return, and a bout vs Bisping would’ve determined which accomplished veteran gets to break the record of most wins with the UFC.
It never came to fruition, and Dana White has been going on record to repeatedly say that GSP is ‘done’ and doesn’t really want to return. St-Pierre himself says that’s just a negotiation tactic from the UFC president, who doesn’t want to bend with what he believes to be a reasonable asking price.
Bisping recently spoke about the potential match up, saying that he still is open for the bout.
“I’m going to win that fight (against Henderson), and if GSP wants it in Toronto, in December, I’m good! GSP keeps talking, but time to do some walking, pal,” Bisping said during the UFC 204 open workouts. “He called me out. I’ll happily knock out Dan Henderson, have a beer with a few of you guys, then go straight back in the gym.”
“I’ve never turned down a fight in my life,” Bisping said. “If GSP wants to do it, then just call Dana (White). I know he said he wants $10 million, so he’s pricing himself out. Don’t on one hand say, ‘I want to fight Bisping,’ and then price yourself out of the market.”
Bisping is also referencing the same $10 million purse that Aldo brought up, saying that was GSP’s asking price for a potential super fight against McGregor.
“Which is it? Do you want to fight me or don’t you want to fight me?” Bisping asked. “ I like GSP. I’ve got nothing against GSP — consummate professional, good guy, nice guy, I know his coaches. Good dude, but if he wants to fight, I never backed down an opponent in my life and I sure as hell won’t start with a welterweight who’s been retired for three years.”
The thing is, GSP’s return would already draw significantly more than the $10 million purse in pay-per-view sales alone, and he would also affect other huge revenue sources in ticket sales, global broadcasting rights, merchandise, and the like. St-Pierre’s comeback can also instantly reignite what has historically been a highly lucrative Canadian market, which has been tapering down since his hiatus.
This is why it’s interesting that Bisping would go off like this about a massive draw and fellow champion. The British champ, who only took a few minutes to sell out an arena for a bout that happens at 4 or 5 am, is probably worth several millions to the promotion himself. GSP at that price tag is a real bargain.