After a protracted hiatus, Canada’s favourite MMA champ is heading back into the Octagon. Catch this long-awaited fight and all the other UFC action on PPV on November 4.
GSP is back. These are the words MMA fans have been longing to hear for almost four years. Now they’ll finally come to fruition on Saturday, November 4, at Madison Square Garden, when Canadian icon Georges St-Pierre (25-2-0) makes his triumphant return at UFC 217 to face champion Michael “The Count” Bisping (31-7-0) for the middleweight title.
St-Pierre, 36, is a two-time UFC welterweight champion who had a stranglehold on the welterweight division from 2007-13, posting an 11-0 record as UFC champion with nine title defenses. His championship reign of 2,204 days is the second-longest in UFC history. Following a controversial split decision victory over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in November 2013, St-Pierre decided to vacate the title and step away from UFC for personal reasons.
At the peak of his career, this native of Montreal’s popularity was unmatched. Throughout his welterweight dominance, St-Pierre was consistently ranked by numerous media outlets as one of the UFC’s best fighters. His global supremacy didn’t go unnoticed at home, as he was named Canadian Athlete of the Year for an unprecedented three consecutive years (2008-10) by SportsnetTM, defeating NHL icon Sidney Crosby and baseball superstar Joey Votto along the way.
Not lost in the hoopla of St-Pierre’s celebrated return to UFC is that his opponent is no shrinking violet. The 38-year-old Bisping captured the middleweight belt with a stunning first-round knockout of champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in June 2016. It was considered by many to be one of the most shocking upsets in UFC history, as Bisping had only accepted the fight 17 days earlier. He comes into the night having won five straight fights, including a unanimous decision over Dan Henderson at UFC 204 last October in his first defense of the title. Bisping’s 20 UFC wins are the most all-time, one more than the 19 posted by St-Pierre, Donald Cerrone and Demian Maia.
The action-packed night will also feature two other title fights, highlighted by a bantamweight championship bout between undefeated champion Cody “No Love” Garbrandt (11-0-0) and former champion TJ Dillashaw (15-3-0). The women will also be represented at the world’s most famous arena, as champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk (14-0-0) puts her strawweight title on the line against Rose “Thug” Namajunas (7-3-0).
In addition, the five-fight main card includes a welterweight contest featuring second-ranked Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (13-1-1) and Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal (32-12-0); and a middleweight battle with undefeated youngster Paulo Borrachinha (10-0-0) taking on veteran Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks (18-7-0).
See UFC 217 live from Madison Square Garden on Saturday, November 4 at 9:30 p.m. ET (pre-show) and 10 p.m. ET (event start) on SportsnetTM Pay Per View on Channel 348 (HD) for $59.99 or on Channel 350 (SD) for $54.99 (in Hamilton on Channel 291 in HD or Channel 287 in SD). Ontario customers can also watch the event in French on Channel 349 (HD) for $59.99 and Channel 351 (SD) for $54.99.
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