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29th Jun 2017

UFC rush out title fight for next month so that Georges St-Pierre can return in November

Michael Bisping's payday seems to have gone

Darragh Murphy

What did we do to deserve a card as stacked as UFC 214?

A third title fight was added to the July 29 event overnight and the welterweight decider will act as something of a backup plan if Jon Jones just so happens to pull a Jon Jones and do something to jeopardise the current main event, a 205lbs rematch with champion and fierce rival, Daniel Cormier.

The incredible card will also see Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino clash with Tonya Evinger for the vacant UFC women’s featherweight title in Anaheim, California.

And it was announced late on Wednesday night that welterweight champ Tyron Woodley would defend his title against top contender and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu doyen, Demian Maia, in the co-main event of UFC 214.

With four weeks to go until fight night, it begs the question: Why would the UFC rush out a title fight in one of their most important divisions?

The answer comes in the form of a little-known 170lber by the name of Georges St-Pierre.

After St-Pierre’s original comeback plans – a middleweight title shot against brash Brit Michael Bisping – were nixed, it seems like ‘Rush’ is going to return in a more familiar weight class.

UFC president Dana White announced that St-Pierre will now get the winner of Woodley vs. Maia.

“Georges and I talked a couple days ago when he was in Vegas,” White told MMA Junkie. “Georges is saying he wants to fight; we’ll get this thing figured out.

“We’re talking about Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia. These two are going to fight soon. That will free up the 170lbs champion for Georges St-Pierre to return and try to regain his belt.”

The last time St-Pierre competed was back in 2013 and, at 36, he’s not exactly blessed with time.

It’s understood that the UFC have plans to schedule GSP for their return to Madison Square Garden in November and, with that date in mind, they’ve hastened the booking of the Woodley vs. Maia bout in the hope that the winner will be fit enough to return in New York.

With Conor McGregor’s lucrative foray into boxing, Nate Diaz’s stubbornness and Ronda Rousey’s complete absence, the UFC is short of true superstars who draw when it comes to the pay-per-view market.

St-Pierre can still be that draw and it seems like the world’s preeminent organisation is happy to move plenty of things around in order to accommodate the Canadian.