Georges St-Pierre will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon, as he has been pegged to face current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion Michael Bisping (full details here).
And he’ll be doing it as the favorite.
Nick Kalikas of MMAOddsbreaker.com has opened St-Pierre a -170 betting favorite to take out “The Count,” who is listed at plus +140. Kalikas broke it down to ESPN.
"There are a lot of questions surrounding both fighters, especially with St-Pierre being out since 2013 and moving up to middleweight for the first time. I personally think St-Pierre was a declining fighter before relinquishing the welterweight title, based on his last few performances. Bisping is coming off minor knee surgery and three of his last four fights have been wars. Stylistically, this matchup should favor St-Pierre, despite Bisping have solid takedown defense and a natural size advantage. Bettors are extremely excited for St-Pierre's return and Bisping is clearly a villain at this stage of his career, with critics accusing him of avoiding top contenders in favor of money fights. The opening line takes all of these factors into account."
Indeed, Bisping doesn’t believe “Rush” has done enough during his extended time off to keep up with the ever-changing mixed martial arts (MMA) landscape. But, as Chan Sung Jung recently proved, ring rust isn’t that real.
Nevertheless, St-Pierre will be making his return at a much bigger weight class, as he has competed at 170 pounds for his entire career. On the bright side, “The Count” isn’t the biggest of Middleweight’s, and “GSP” has been known to pack on the pounds well.
You can expect the lines to change as the fight — which doesn’t have a time or place set, yet — draws closer. In the meantime, give is your thoughts on the opening line in the comments section below.