UFC President Dana White announced late last week: “We’re not waiting for GSP.” And just like that, Georges St-Pierre vs. Michael Bisping was off.
After over three years outside the octagon, GSP was granted a middleweight title shot against Michael Bisping. It was an eyebrow-raising match-up to say the least. GSP has fought at welterweight for his entire UFC career and the middleweight division is currently bursting at the seams with title contenders.
So maybe it’s a good thing the fight was cancelled. It clears the way for a more appropriate title fight: Michael Bisping vs. Yoel Romero. The 40-year-old Romero has beaten the likes of Chris Weidman, Jacare Souza and Lyoto Machida to become the number one contender. He definitely deserves a shot.
Still, fight fans would love to see the greatest welterweight of all time back in the octagon. There’s quite a few interesting opponents for GSP and the UFC to choose from.
Who will GSP fight next and how will Bisping vs. Romero pan out? Let’s take a look at the numbers.
Michael Bisping (+280) vs. Yoel Romero (-360)
The opening line places the challenger as the overwhelming favorite — and with good reason. Yoel Romero (13-1) has won all six of his UFC fights and recently delivered a devastating knockout to former champ Chris Weidman.
Michael Bisping (30-7) pulled off one of the biggest upsets in UFC history when he stripped Luke Rockhold of the middleweight title. But since then he’s only defended the title once, defeating a 46-year-old Dan Henderson.
Yoel Romero may be a couple of years older than Bisping, but he appears to be in the best shape of his career. Bisping, on the other hand, has taken on a huge amount of damage over his 37 professional fights.
There’s not a lot of value in Romero at -360, but I still think he’s worth a pick.
Yoel Romero (-360)
Odds to be Georges St-Pierre’s next opponent:
Anderson Silva: 4/1
Nick Diaz: 17/3
Yoel Romero: 93/7
Michael Bisping: 19/1
Tyron Woodley: 19/1
There are a lot of possibilities here.
A middleweight fight against Anderson Silva would definitely garner a lot of interest. Silva had a June fight lined up against Kelvin Gastelum, but his opponent tested positive for marijuana and probably won’t be allowed to fight. Though a bout against GSP wouldn’t have any impact on the middleweight rankings, it would pull in some massive numbers.
Nick Diaz has been waiting to re-enter the UFC for some time now, but has had trouble coming to an agreement with the promoter. Diaz will not fight unless he receives an ungodly amount of money, but he isn’t deserving of a title shot or even a title eliminator. Here’s a solution: GSP v Diaz II. Both fighters are huge draws, and a rematch between the two wouldn’t disrupt the order of the middleweight division.
If the UFC is hell bent on giving GSP a middleweight title shot then he could always face the winner of Bisping v Romero. However, with Luke Rockhold in line for a chance to reclaim the title and Robert Whittaker emerging as a serious title contender, GSP’s window of opportunity might be closing up.
Then there’s a shot at the welterweight champ, Tyron Woodley. Demian Maia has already been promised a shot at the title, but that doesn’t mean much; the welterweight division needs some spicing up and the one-dimensional Maia has been swindled out of title shots before.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.