Canadian MMA “GOAT” Georges St-Pierre is set to make his long-awaited return later this year, as he faces Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight championship.
UFC President Dana White broke the news in an interview on ESPN SportsCentre today.
The 35-year-old GSP has been absent from MMA since a split decision win over Johny Hendricks in November 2013, at UFC 167. There were rumours that he would retire, or even leave the UFC for pastures new, but he was recently able to sign a new contract with the organisation, which fuelled the rumours of a return in the near future.
Though he went on hiatus following nine consecutive defences of his UFC welterweight Championship, GSP returns a middleweight, and immediately bypasses top contenders Yoel Romero and Jacare Souza in facing middleweight champion Bisping for the belt. There were rumours that he would face either Tyron Woodley at welterweight, or even a potential super fight with Anderson Silva or Conor McGregor.
The fight against Bisping has been confirmed for later this year, though the exact date and venue have yet to be revealed. In all likelihood, a fight of such scale will take place in either Las Vegas or New York, though Canada and the UK remain outside bets.
For “The Count,” this fight not only represents the chance to defend his UFC middleweight championship and earn himself a giant paycheck, but it also offers the 37-year-old the opportunity to be the only fighter to have beaten both Silva and St-Pierre, two of the greatest fighters in MMA history.
A press conference is set to take place on Friday in Vegas, with both Bisping and St-Pierre in attendance. More information will likely be revealed then.