Michael Bisping was set to score the biggest payday of his life, and then Georges St-Pierre was yanked from their scheduled fight.
Despite being UFC middleweight champion, Bisping emerged as the biggest loser after UFC president Dana White pulled St-Pierre from their bout in favor of Yoel Romero. White was tired of waiting around for St-Pierre, who stated he’ll be ready to compete after October.
For the first time in his 13-year MMA career, the title, timing and luck were all on Bisping’s side. He was the middleweight champion when St-Pierre finally decided to end his nearly-four-year “break from MMA.”
The UFC gifted their previous pay-per-view king to Bisping, much to the dismay of every top tier middleweight. Bisping revealed earlier this year that he’s “never had a $1 million payday” through 37 professional fights.
Bisping was the first to admit St-Pierre didn’t deserve an immediate crack at his crown. He was also the first to admit he had no shame in cashing in his winning lottery ticket.
And in one fell swoop, Bisping’s jackpot was slashed into fractions. “The Count’s” last disclosed salary was at UFC 199 when he shockingly knocked out Luke Rockhold to capture the gold.
“The Count” counted $250,000 on his paycheck that night.
While a quarter of a million dollars is nothing to sneeze at, especially in the MMA world, it pales in comparison to what Bisping would have banked against St-Pierre. We’re talking about a piece of the PPV pie in St-Pierre’s long-awaited comeback bout.
Given what Conor McGregor has accomplished during St-Pierre’s absence, it’s easy to forget the money machine GSP was during his heyday. And now he’s back after willingly leaving at the peak of his illustrious career in search of a new title, with Bisping emerging as the unexpected benefactor.
Beating the most decorated welterweight champion in UFC history would have been a great résumé booster for Bisping. St-Pierre was also bound to be rusty after taking 48 months off, so Bisping also had that going for him.
But just like how White made the life-changing payday magically appear, he made it disappear just as quickly. Also gone are the smile on Bisping’s face and additional money in his bank account.