Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre, returned from a four-year, self-imposed mixed martial arts (MMA) layoff tonight (Sat., Nov. 4, 2017) to test himself against Middleweight champion, Michael Bisping, in the pay-per-view (PPV) main event of UFC 217, which took place inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.
And it could not have gone any better for “Rush,” who was able to somehow make a comeback and claim a world title in a different weight class, submitting Michael Bisping via rear-naked choke in the third round.
Both fighters opened up cautious, looking to find an opening ... and it was St-Pierre who was able to score first with a looping right hand that clipped Bisping behind the ear. St-Pierre continued to look for the right hook, but settled for a nice stiff jab that found its mark. Bisping returned fire moments later, but St-Pierre was able to score with an overhand right. And another one. Bisping tried to keep him at bay with a nice jab, but St-Pierre ducked under the next one and secured the first takedown of the fight. Bisping got back to his feet seconds later, only for St-Pierre to drill him with a Superman punch that wobbled his legs a bit. It was a great first round for St-Pierre, who looked crisp despite the lengthy layoff.
St-Pierre got the action started in the second stanza with a nice left-handed jab. Bisping tried to bully his way in with a high kick, but he was unable to put anything together. St-Pierre landed a nice sidekick, then a nice combination as Bisping looked a little lost. Bisping then landed a clean right hand that forced St-Pierre to take a deep breath. St-Pierre scored another takedown in the middle of the Octagon with two minutes remaining in the round, but once again, Bisping was able to muscle himself back to his feet and land a nice punch on the break. Bisping then landed a nice switch kick to St-Pierre’s head as he continued to take deep breaths, possibly showing signs of fatigue.
At the end of the round, Bisping suffered a wardrobe malfunction with his cup. He slid it back in, but didn’t seem confident that it would last. St-Pierre wasted no time attempting — and securing -- a takedown to start the third round, but it was Bisping who appeared to do more damage, drilling him with shots from bottom position and opening up the Canadian. He drilled him again and suddenly St-Pierre’s face was a bloody mess as he let him back up to his feet. St-Pierre, who could barely see because of the blood all over his face, was somehow able to land a nice shot. Moments later he dropped Bisping with a short left hook. St-Pierre followed him to the mat, knowing that perhaps his time was limited, and continued to pour on the pressure. Bisping rolled and bucked, looking to escape danger, but in the process St-Pierre was able to get to his back and quickly locked in a TIGHT rear-naked choke. Bisping, though, had no desire to tap and eventually faded into unconsciousness.
Just when it appeared that St-Pierre was fading, he was able to drop the durable champion and put him to sleep ... despite a four-year absence from the sport. It’s an unreal accomplishment, joining B.J. Penn, Randy Couture and Conor McGregor as the only UFC fighters to hold titles in two different weight classes.
For complete UFC 217 results, including play-by-play coverage, click here.