Once Georges St-Pierre was booked to face Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight championship, and the possibility of GSP cutting down to lightweight was brought up, it wasn’t too difficult to put two and two together.
With a new four-fight UFC contract in hand, St-Pierre wants to win three different belts and go down as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. In case you have any doubts, GSP himself said as much in a recent appearance on The MMA Hour.
But now, we’ve learned that the French-Canadian star’s master plan is about glory and money. In a Wednesday interview with Fight Hub TV, GSP’s boxing coach Freddie Roach, who helped broker the fighter’s four-fight deal, admitted that ending with a matchup with the UFC’s pay-per-view king is their best-case scenario.
“With the last fight, we’re hoping (for it) to be (Conor) McGregor,” Roach said. “Who wouldn’t want that fight? I mean, It’s a big fight. We’d have to maybe cut weight, meet in the middle somewhere. Something like that.”
If you’re St-Pierre, why not go for the best of both worlds?
While McGregor is busy setting up a boxing super-fight with Floyd Mayweather, GSP could feasibly win the 185-pound title (he’s a slight favorite over Bisping in the sportsbooks) and attempt to reclaim his welterweight strap. If successful on both fronts, St-Pierre could vacate his middleweight belt as McGregor did with his featherweight gold, and they could meet in a battle of the unofficial double-champs.
Even Bisping, St-Pierre’s opponent for either the summer or fall depending on who gets his way, has sniffed out GSP’s long game — and was happy to divulge it in greater detail than Roach.
“Here’s what I think GSP’s plan is,” Bisping said Thursday on The Countdown. “He comes back, he fights me, he beats me. In the time that takes, Demian Maia beats Jorge Masvidal, then he fights Tyron Woodley. (GSP) believes — because he said this — that Maia beats Woodley. Then, from him fighting me, he fights Maia, relinquishes the 185-pound belt, then he goes for the 170 belt. He fights Maia because stylistically it’s a good fight for him … Then he’s going to relinquish that and then fight Conor McGregor for the lightweight belt.”
I don’t agree with “The Count” all that often, but he’s right on the money here — though the timeline he’s laid out would make McGregor GSP’s third opponent, and not his fourth as Roach alluded to.
But let’s not get caught up with this minor detail. GSP could just as easily have to fight McGregor right after Bisping if the lightweight champ’s UFC return comes sooner than expected. The important takeaway here is that, for the first time, St-Pierre vs. McGregor is more than just hearsay.
Now, it’s on GSP to win his way to the biggest money fight in UFC history.