TORONTO — The Canadian Press
Former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has confirmed he will make his long-awaited comeback against middleweight title-holder Michael Bisping on Nov. 4 at UFC 217 in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
The 36-year-old from Montreal posted a photo on Instagram showing him smiling as he signed the bout agreement.
“Get ready for a big night in NYC!!!” he wrote.
St-Pierre has not fought since Nov. 16, 2013, when he won a slender split decision over Johny (Bigg Rigg) Hendricks at UFC 167.
St-Pierre (25-2-0) subsequently stepped away from the sport, saying his life had become “completely insane” and a “freaking zoo.” He kept training while on hiatus.
He signed a new contract in February, targeting England’s Bisping – and a step up in weight class – for his comeback. But he ran into a stumbling block in UFC president Dana White when he said he couldn’t fight until November because of an eye injury.
Instead, White said he would face the winner of the UFC 214 welterweight showdown between champion Tyron (The Chosen One) Woodley and No. 1 contender Demian Maia. Woodley won a drab five-round decision July 29 that set a record for the fewest strikes in a five-round title bout.
White went back to the original plan, matching St-Pierre against Bisping.
The 38-year-old Bisping is a brash Brit who once lived in his car as he tried to make money as a DJ and furniture-maker. He won the 185-pound title via a first-round knockout of American Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in June 2016.
He subsequently defended the title against Dan Henderson at UFC 204 last October. He has been sidelined by a knee injury since then.
Both Bisping (31-7-0) and St-Pierre campaigned to meet each other, knowing it was the biggest-money fight on the table.