It’s starting to sound like the lines of communication between promoter and fighter are less than open and easy these days. Michael Bisping has had a bout with GSP in the works seemingly since GSP announced his return to the UFC back in February. But, while the idea has gone from call-out to officially announced fight to scrapped idea, it seems Bisping hasn’t gotten many details along the way.
Even weeks after the fight had been announced, the middleweight champion told media that he had yet to see a bout agreement, or hear another word of the UFC’s plans following the March 3rd press conference featuring himself and GSP. And then, in early May, after GSP released a short video over social media saying he wouldn’t be ready to fight until October, Dana White publicly announced that he was calling off the fight.
But if that’s the new plan, it seems that Michael Bisping still hasn’t been put in the loop. On a recent episode of his Believe You Me podcast, ‘The Count’ told listeners that he has yet to hear from the UFC about his fight with GSP being called off. And until he does, it looks like he’s going to assume the fight is still happening (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“Honestly, it’s news to me. I haven’t heard anything about it. I reached out to Georges and he said he hasn’t heard anything officially either, and I still haven’t heard anything from the UFC or Dana White. I know that a lot of people are complaining about this potential delay with Georges, so we’ll see what happens.
“So yeah, to clarify, as of right now, no official word from the UFC. I haven’t heard anything and Georges is still hoping for it, I’m still hoping for it. I’ll say this, I was offered the fight twice. I was offered the fight in October and it never materialized. I was offered the fight in January or February and it did materialize and we had a press conference and we shook hands and we stood there in Las Vegas and we talked a bit of shit. So okay, I haven’t had a bout agreement but that is the plan. That was the offer and I accepted and I kind of feel that once a deal is made, we should stick to it.”
Bisping went on to elaborate that GSP’s interest in delaying their bout was a “blessing in disguise” as recent injuries have hindered him from training. He also stated that while some may believe this to be a pressure tactic from the UFC against GSP, he thinks the need for more title fights sooner is likely the real motivator.
“Maybe they need an active champion to fight sooner. I think that’s probably the top of it. I honestly don’t think they’re trying to put pressure on Georges. I think they need title fights on the pay-per-views, which I understand. I understand the frustrations from their side, just like a lot of the middleweight division are kind of frustrated. They need good title fights on their pay-per-views and waiting until November is a significant delay so I understand that. But like I said, we did have a deal so I’d like to speak with the UFC and find out what’s happening.“
No matter the motivation, it definitely appears that there’s an ongoing breakdown in communication between the various parties. Until the fighters involved get a little more clarity and the UFC firms up its plans, it seems any statements made about GSP vs. Bisping will need to be taken with a heavy grain of salt.
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