BISPING SAYS HE’S READY TO FIGHT GSP IF GSP WILL
In a series of tweets Tuesday night, Bisping shared in several replies to fans and news stories that he has been offered the fight by UFC President Dana White and that negotiations with St-Pierre have been going on for the past few days.
Bisping went on to try to goad St-Pierre into signing on for the fight, urging GSP to “sign the papers” and “be a hero.”
St-Pierre had expressed interest in a fight with the current UFC Middleweight Champion in the summer when he announced his intentions to return, but just last week declared himself a free agent in an interview with Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour.”
While UFC hasn’t commented publicly on Bisping’s claims, White has said numerous times in the past few months that he doesn’t think GSP has any intention of fighting again.
GSP has denied White’s claims and those who have been around him feel he’s been ready to fight for some time. UFC strawweight Randa Markos, who trained at Tristar, GSP’s long time gym, in preparation for her fight with Karolina Kowalkiewicz earlier this year was confident he was looking to return to the cage. Markos told MMA Torch, “He was in great shape, he looked like he was preparing to fight again. My impression of GSP is that he was preparing to come back and take over again.”
With tickets being on sale for UFC 206 for a week now, and a card severely lacking star-power outside the main event, it is possible UFC is looking to bolster the card with a big GSP-Bisping fight, but time is certainly running out.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: It’s hard to believe Bisping is just making this all up out of thin air, but it may not be as close to being done as he is letting on. Fighters are offered hypothetical fights all the time, so unless he has a bout agreement in hand, things are probably still far apart on the GSP side. Even with a bout agreement, we’ve learned recently that that doesn’t necessarily mean much either.
What’s tricky about this situation is that tickets are already on sale and they weren’t priced for a GSP level show. I don’t think anything is stopping them from increasing prices on the remaining tickets should GSP-Bisping be signed, but it definitely comes off greedy. But it also may be necessary to make the show financially solvent.
I wouldn’t recommend going out to buy cheap tickets on speculation at this point, but it is definitely a situation worth keeping an eye on.
WEDNESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
–Ariel Helwani reports that UFC has settled on the matchmaking assignments for Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard once Joe Silva steps down at the end of the year. Shelby will be responsible for both women’s divisions, as well as men’s bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight divisions while Maynard will handle the flyweight, middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions.
-The recently-released Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva has quickly landed a new fighting gig in Russia. Silva will fight Ivan Shtyrkov for the Titov Boxing Promotion. The fight will be an MMA fight.
-Gunnar Nelson wrote in an Instagram post that the reason he had to pull out of his Nov. 19 main event with Dong Hyun Kim is he twisted his ankle during an open workout session promoting the event.
–Forbes magazine recently placed UFC 7th in the “sports business” category of the world’s most valuable sports brands.
-Mackenzie Dern told MMA Junkie that she has had talks with UFC and is planning to debut for the promotion sometime in 2017.
-Ralek Gracie has signed with Bellator. Gracie started the Metamoris grappling promotion that has aired on iPPV featuring many notable MMA fighters. No opponent has been named.
FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT ROUNDUP
-Vicente Luque steps in for the suspended Lyman Good against Belal Muhammad at UFC 205 on Nov. 12 from New York City.
-Stevie Ray is reported to be stepping in for James Krause against Ross Pearson on Nov. 19 from Belfast according to MMA Fighting.
-Rob Font vs. Alejandro Perez at the TUF 24 Finale on Dec. 3 from Las Vegas.
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)