UFC 206 may not be the middle child after all.
If Michael Bisping gets his way, he’ll end up defending his middleweight championship against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 206, the Dec. 10 pay-per-view held in GSP’s backyard. Bisping says he’s already verbally agreed to accept the fight, though it’s far from a done deal at this point.
Just last week, St-Pierre stunned much of the MMA world by declaring himself a free agent. Having been in talks with the UFC about a comeback to the Octagon, St-Pierre says the company’s new partnership with Reebok was the biggest obstacle preventing him from returning. The Canadian fighter says his legal representation then set a deadline to solidify his return, effectively voiding the contract once the UFC failed to comply.
The UFC, however, refuted St-Pierre’s declaration and claimed he was still under Zuffa contract.
There is no word on where the two parties will go from here, though it’s clear a legal battle will ensue if the two sides fail to find common ground in the weeks or months ahead.
What’s more, UFC President Dana White tells ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that there will be no Bisping vs. GSP fight in Toronto.
“I know Mike wants the fight, but it’s not happening,” White wrote Okamoto in a text.
It’s worth taking all the information with a grain of salt. Fighters have previously made fruitless “verbal agreements” in the past, and White has on several occasions denounced rumors that wound up becoming factual.
At time of publication, a light heavyweight championship between titleholder Daniel Cormier and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is scheduled to headline UFC 206. It’s worth noting the UFC has yet to book a bout that has the makeup of a traditional co-main event.