The UFC’s 2017 card at Madison Square Garden will be headlined by UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, as he defends his title for the second time against the returning Georges St-Pierre. But according to veteran analyst Joe Rogan, the card that will also feature two other title fights is not selling that well.
“Bisping vs. GSP. Now, I’m hearing, that that’s not selling well, Madison Square Garden,” Rogan told Eddie Bravo and Brendan Schaub during this weekend’s Fight Companion podcast. “That’s unfortunate.”
“Here’s the thing, though. If you really stop and think about it, that was four years ago since (St-Pierre) last fought Jonny Hendricks. The people that are into the UFC now, they’re post-Ronda Rousey, post-Conor McGregor, the casual fans.”
“The hardcore fans like you and I, we’re gonna watch that fight, for sure,” Rogan continued. “Like, ‘OK, I want to see what Bisping looks like fighting a guy like Georges St-Pierre who’s smaller than him, taken four years off. Bisping’s got this opportunity to make a shitload of money. And then Georges, how’s he gonna look? We haven’t seen him in four years.”
St-Pierre will be jumping up 15 pounds in weight for the first time in his lengthy career, and admits that he is currently “at the biggest he has ever been in his life.” Rogan and company, however, do not see the former long-time welterweight champion’s bulkiness as a good sign for him.
“He’s a little soft,” Rogan said while looking at a recent photo of St-Pierre. “Kind of heavy around the middle, (like he was) eating a lot. There’s a big difference between that and Kevin Lee (who) was jacked. Like that picture of him on top of Tony, when he was dropping bombs on him. Jacked.”
“Georges does not look that good. You can be in great shape at 35 years old, but it really, completely helps if you were super active for a long time.
UFC 217 will also feature the strawweight championship between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Rose Namajunas, as well as the bantamweight title fight between ex-teammates Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw, which serves as the night’s co-headliner. It is scheduled to take place on November 4th.