It’s no secret UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping (pictured) wants to cash in on a blockbuster bout by welcoming former welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre back to the cage. It’s no secret that St-Pierre has been pushing to return to the sport that made him a multimillionaire in Toronto for UFC 206.
It’s also no secret that the light heavyweight rematch between title holder Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson, which is currently plastered on the marquee as the show’s featured attraction, isn’t nearly as box office as having GSP end his three-year hiatus in his home country.
So what’s the problem? Well, it appears St-Pierre is still unsatisfied with any contract the UFC has presented him.
On Tuesday, Bisping revealed that UFC president Dana White offered him a tango with St-Pierre at UFC 206, which “The Count” gladly accepted, and was merely waiting on St-Pierre to put pen to paper.
@GeorgesStPierre, we all want more money. But let’s go,sign the papers.Give the people of Toronto what they want, be a hero! Let’s go champ!
— michael (@bisping) October 26, 2016
According to Bisping, the UFC and St-Pierre have “been negotiating this fight for the last few days.”
It appears the negotiations have hit a brick wall. White told ESPN.com that the fight will remain fantasy.
“There is no Bisping vs. GSP fight in Toronto,” White said. “I know Mike wants it but it’s not happening.”
The good news is that you can never believe anything White ever says, so there’s still hope. If they’re still in the middle of negotiations, this could be another one of White’s many ploys to lure GSP out of his “break” from MMA.
This news comes eight days after St-Pierre declared he was a free agent after terminating his UFC contract because the promotion failed on multiple attempts to offer him a fight in a timely manor. Obviously, the opponent isn’t St-Pierre’s primary concern – it’s money.
After St-Pierre voluntarily vacated his welterweight title and abruptly walked away from MMA in December 2013, the UFC signed an exclusive sponsorship deal with Reebok that wasn’t beneficial to the majority of the UFC’s roster. St-Pierre claimed that fighting on the terms of his past contract would cost him money because he wouldn’t be allowed to wear Under Armour during fight week and inside the cage.
Since February, the UFC still hasn’t been able to present St-Pierre with an offer that would make it financially beneficial for him to return to action.
The UFC was sold to a group led by WME-IMG in July for a whopping $4 billion, so St-Pierre knows there’s plenty of money in the pot.
Bisping is fresh off last month’s unanimous decision victory over Dan Henderson and St-Pierre claims to be the best he’s ever been after training rigorously for the past several months. There’s still plenty of time to get a deal done before the curtain is drawn inside Air Canada Centre on December 10, but the clock is ticking.
UFC 206’s current lineup clearly needs a boost in star power:
Jordan Mein vs. Emil Meek
Chad Laprise vs. Li Jingliang
Misha Cirkunov vs. Nikita Krylov
Poliana Botelho vs. Valerie Letourneau
Rustam Khabilov vs. Jason Saggo
Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Drew Dober
John Makdessi vs. Lando Vannata
Zach Makovsky vs. John Moraga
Cub Swanson vs. Dooho Choi
Anthony Johnson vs. Daniel Cormier (UFC light heavyweight champion)