Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (25-2) is set to return to the Octagon for the first time in nearly four years, and he will do so against middleweight champ Michael Bisping (30-7) in a superfight later in 2017 (*updated below), as announced by UFC president Dana White on ESPN. The Montreal native will be 36 years old by the time he faces Bisping, yet his age and inactivity have not kept him from opening as a betting favorite versus the 37-year-old Bisping, who is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Dan Henderson in his first title defense at UFC 204 last October. While the date of the middleweight championship matchup is still to be determined according to White, the buzz around it started last year when Bisping verbally agreed to fight GSP at UFC 206 in Toronto. But GSP could not come to terms with the organization to make that bout happen in time and just recently agreed to a new deal. Bisping then fought Henderson instead. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas just released the opening line for GSP vs. Bisping via 5Dimes Sportsbook and ESPN…
Georges St-Pierre -170
Michael Bisping +140
Nick’s thoughts: There are a lot of questions surrounding both fighters obviously now that this superfight has been formally announced, especially with GSP being out since 2013 and moving up to middleweight for the first time. I personally think GSP was a declining fighter before relinquishing the welterweight title based on his last few performances as champion, which were underwhelming. But Bisping is coming off minor knee surgery too, and three of his last four fights have been wars that have pushed him as an aging veteran who is actually older than GSP. Stylistically, this matchup should also be very favorable for GSP despite Bisping having solid takedown defense and being the naturally bigger fighter at 185. Based on public perception, bettors are extremely excited for GSP’s return as well, and Bisping is clearly a villain at this stage of his career, with critics pointing to the fact that he is avoiding the top contenders right now in favor of a big money fight. The opening line takes all of these factors into account.
Tale of the Tape below courtesy of Reed Kuhn (@Fightnomics on Twitter)
(Fight Rescheduled, Betting Odds Updated And Re Added On 8-2-17)
Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Saturday 11.04.2017 at 10:00 PM ET
UFC Middleweight Title:
Michael Bisping +130
Georges St. Pierre -160
Over 4.5 -140
Under 4.5 +100
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