HYDEN’S TAKE: GSP-Bisping possibly slowing the division down even more, and the new UFC Women’s Flyweight Division

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch columnistk

Michael Bisping (art credit Grant Gould © MMATorch)

No events again this week, so I’ll just hit upon some of the various news topics of the past week…


Georges St. Pierre has said that he’ll be ready to fight UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping in October or later. Quite frankly, that’s ridiculous. We’re supposed to wait at least five months for that fight to happen? More importantly, Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero are supposed to wait at least five months for this fight to happen, so presumably one of them could get the next title shot? That’s insane, and I can’t imagine the UFC is on board with this. People who know me know that I don’t have a very high opinion of the way the UFC runs things usually, but this would be a stunning level of incompetence if they were okay with waiting this long.

GSP-Bisping is a fight that shouldn’t even have been made in the first place. To have it not take place for months would be so indescribably stupid that it would set a new high-bar (or low-bar) for stupid decisions made by sports organizations. If this were taking place in a weak or wide-open division, it wouldn’t be a big deal.

For instance, if this was happening in the Flyweight Division, it would actually probably be welcomed. UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson has laid waste to the division and defeated anyone who has even the slightest case for a title shot. So a big name divisional new-comer would be met with open arms. This isn’t the case in the Middleweight Division, though. As I mentioned above, either Robert Whittaker or Yoel Romero would be great choices for a title shot. So you have two guys who you could easily make a case for being passed over in favor of a big money fight?

Until I hear otherwise, I’m going to believe that the UFC had no idea GSP wanted to wait until October to get this title shot. I can’t think that the UFC would be so foolish as to have their champion sit out a full calendar year while two highly deserving challengers wait for their shot. That would be next-level madness. Instead, I think the UFC books Bisping to defend the title against Romero in July and GSP fights the winner sometime in November or something. If Romero can’t make July, then Whittaker gets the shot. Maybe this is more of what I’m hoping happens, but I think it’s more likely than not.


The UFC is going to introduce a Women’s Flyweight division by having it be a season of The Ultimate Fighter. I’m in favor of more divisions, although I’m sure it’ll initially be quite shallow, or comprised of a lot of strawweight fighters going back and forth between two divisions. I think you have to get these divisions up and running as quickly as you can. It takes time to get new divisions going, you’re not going to start with four badass fighters ready to set the world on fire.

It takes time to grow champions and challengers, and the best way to do that is by having these divisions. It’s the same with the Women’s Featherweight Division, or when they first introduced the Men’s Flyweight Division. When they came out with the Women’s Strawweight Division, it was hard to know what to expect, and now that’s my favorite division in all of MMA.

The champion of the UFC Women’s Strawweight Division, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, defends her title against Jessica Andrade at UFC 212 this Saturday. I’m super-hyped for that fight. No offense to UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic and Junior Dos Santos, who are fighting on that card as well, but Andrade-Jedrzejczyk is the real main event for me. JDS-Miocic 2 should be a really good fight, and I’m quite excited for it as well, but not as much as for the women’s fight.

So, if the new Women’s Flyweight division can bring even half the excitement the Women’s Strawweight division has brought, we’re all in for a treat. Even if it doesn’t, though, it’s still a good thing to introduce it because divisions are cyclical. They rise and fall as great challengers and champions come and go. Maybe this new division brings us the next great champion? It’s an exciting thought and that’s all the reason I need to want a new division.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: HYDEN’S TAKE: Al Iaquinta’s issues with fighter pay and the UFC – would it be worth it to UFC to increase payroll budget?

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