1. SubscriberVESPIN
    All For Fun
    United States
    Joined
    03 Jun '09
    Moves
    66716
    05 Mar '17 00:52
    Article on GSP fighting for the title against MIchael Bisping.

    Matt Connolly ,

    Contributor

    I cover the business of sports with an MMA focus.

    Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

    For seven years, Georges St-Pierre ruled the UFC’s welterweight division. Twelve-straight wins, nine successful title defenses. Dominant finishes over Hall of Famers like Matt Hughes and B.J. Penn. Hard-fought decisions over Carlos Condit and Johny Hendricks after being badly hurt.

    For seven years, Georges St-Pierre ruled the UFC’s welterweight division. Twelve-straight wins, nine successful title defenses. Dominant finishes over Hall of Famers like Matt Hughes and B.J. Penn. Hard-fought decisions over Carlos Condit and Johny Hendricks after being badly hurt.

    Georges St-Pierre is back in the UFC, and his timing couldn't be any better. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

    Outside of a couple injuries brought on by overtraining — a sprained MCL in mid-2011 before a full ACL tear later that year — St-Pierre was the model for sustained excellence. His old numbers might not live up to the modern-day standards set by Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey, but there’s a reason UFC President White deemed GSP “the king of pay-per-view” back in 2012. From his first successful title defense at UFC 87 up to his last at UFC 167, cards the French-Canadian star headlined were a sure bet to clear 500,000 buys, with several of them coming just shy of a million.

    St-Pierre always showed up, and did so with an air of professionalism that was a rare site in the "just bleed" era. At a time when MMA needed an ambassador to legitimize itself as a professional sport, GSP showed that class could sell just as well as brashness so long as it was backed up by an obsessive demand for perfection inside the cage.

    On Friday, St-Pierre was officially re-introduced to the MMA universe in a pre-UFC 209 press conference in Las Vegas. And as if it wasn’t already obvious the UFC needs him now more than ever, the timing of his Q&A with White and Michael Bisping could not have made that more clear.

    Just hours prior to the presser, one of the UFC’s next big things fumbled his shot as stardom, as Khabib Nurmagomedov was rushed to a hospital as a result of a bad weight cut and deemed unfit to compete.

    UFC 209 may be billed as Woodley vs. Thompson 2, but it’s no secret who the UFC was building up as the event’s main attraction. As MMA Fighting’s Chuck Mindenhall illuminated, the stage was set for “The Eagle” to land in the upper echelon of the promotion's fighters. The undefeated Russian was the modern-day Fedor Emelianenko, accept he was competing under the No. 1 MMA promotion in the world, and in its most competitive weight class to boot. His unintentionally funny demeanor and accompanying soundbites had already cemented his place as a fan favorite amongst hardcores.

    And yet, like so many others before him, Nurmagomedov failed to make it to fight night. "End of Article"

    This was a huge fight. Khabib was given a huge chance. I am sure they will again. I hope.