Despite it being his middleweight debut and his first pro mixed martial arts fight in almost four years, Georges St-Pierre is the sportsbook odds favorite (-120) as he prepares to challenge Michael Bisping (+100) for the middleweight championship at UFC 217 on Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
St-Pierre was the longtime UFC welterweight champ before he took his hiatus and had won his last 12 fights in a row. His last seven fights ended in a decision, and his most recent win, a split decision over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167, was controversial.
Bisping is the naturally bigger man and has been quite active while GSP was on the sidelines. “The Count” is currently on a five-fight winning streak and won the middleweight belt by knocking out Luke Rockhold in the first-round at UFC 199 in June of last year. Bisping returned in October of last year to redeem himself from a 2009 loss to legend Dan Henderson, defeating him via unanimous decision at UFC 204.
Bisping also holds wins over Anderson Silva, Thales Leites and C.B. Dolloway as part of his current winning streak and it is quite feasible he could upset the 36-year-old Canadian. Despite Bisping being 38, he really seems to have found his groove. GSP could face some real ring rust and for the former welterweight champ to make his return on such a big stage at MSG could cause some nerves. For those reasons my money is on “The Count”.
PICK: Bisping via TKO