According to the latest oddsmakers, St. Pierre is favored to win the championship, as he is getting odds of -120 to prevail. Bisping is listed with a money line of -110 to win. These two will meet in the main event of UFC 217 tonight from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. The main card airs live on PPV starting at 10PM ET.
GEORGES ST. PIERRE
St. Pierre (25-2) is the greatest UFC Welterweight Champion in the history of the organization. He held the belt for five years before stepping away in November of 2013 following a decision win over Johny Hendricks. GSP now returns four years later to go after the middleweight title. St. Pierre is a tremendous wrestler that has good technical striking. He lacks striking power, but has used the combo of striking and wrestling to win his last seven fights by decision after 25 minutes.
Bisping (30-7) is set to make his second title defense at 185 pounds after winning the belt in June of 2016. Bisping hasn’t fought since October of last year, a decision win over Dan Henderson. He has won his last five fights to see his career reach a new peak. A boxer at heart, Bisping has shown the ability to defend takedowns well and keep the fight standing. He has an edge in punching power, as Bisping has scored 16 KO’s in his career.
St. Pierre is one of the best the UFC has ever seen, but he stepped away for four years. That is a lifetime in MMA. We have seen seemingly unbeatable fighters fall off the face of the earth in a shorter span of time. St. Pierre is a disciplined fighter, but being away for so long is going to cause some problems. Especially when you consider he is fighting up in weight for the first time. He had a big size advantage at 170 pounds, which allowed his wrestling to work so well. That advantage is no longer there. I don’t see his striking power improving with the jump up either, which means he could easily get knocked out in a striking battle with the champ. Could GSP win? Sure. He is a tremendous athlete. However, there are just too many variables going against him here for me to take him as a favorite.
UFC PREDICTIONS: MICHAEL BISPING -110