According to veteran MMA commentator Joe Rogan, UFC 217, which was supposedly slated to be the biggest card of the year with the return of former champion and arguably greatest of all time George “Rush” St-Pierre.
Joe Rogan believes that the lack of ticket sales is partly due to the fact that GSP wasn’t active when MMA started growing in popularity and reaching a wider audience after fighters like Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey paved the way and set the blueprint for superstardom in MMA. Therefore, GSP might be unknown to newer fans despite all of his accomplishments in the sport.
You can read Joe’s full statement below:
Here’s the thing, though. If you really stop and think about it, that was four years ago since (St-Pierre) last fought Jonny Hendricks. The people that are into the UFC now, they’re post-Ronda, post-Conor, the casual fans.
The hardcore fans like you and I, we’re gonna watch that fight, for sure,” Rogan continued. “Like, ‘OK, I want to see what Bisping looks like fighting a guy like Georges St-Pierre who’s smaller than him, taken four years off. Bisping’s got this opportunity to make a shitload of money. And then Georges, how’s he gonna look? We haven’t seen him in four years
GSP will also be competing in the Middleweight division for the first time. He is admittedly bigger than he has ever been. Although GSP has seemed confident in moving up to a new division and says to be prepared for his bout against Michael “The Count” Bisping, Rogan himself is not convinced:
He’s a little soft, kind of heavy around the middle […] There’s a big difference between that and Kevin Lee who was jacked […] George does not look that good.
Although a comparison to Lightweight contender Kevin Lee might seem strange, Rogan seems to suggest that GSP might not have been gaining the extra weight to compete in a heavier division appropriately which would be building muscle mass.
Furthermore, Rogan did not say how he was able to get the inside information/ rumor and no numbers were given.
UFC will be taking place at Madison Square Garden, NY on December 4th and will be available on PPV.
The full fight card can be found below:
- Michael Bisping (30-7) vs George St-Pierre (25-2) (Middleweight Title)
- Cody Garbrandt (11-0) vs TJ Dillashaw (14-3) (Bantamweight Title)
- Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0) vs Rose Namajunas (6-3) (Strawweight Title)
- Stephen Thompson (13-2-1) vs Jorge Masvidal (32-12) (Welterweight)
- Joseph Duffy (16-2) vs James Vick (11-1) (Lightweight)
- Johny Hendricks (18-7) vs Paulo “Borrachinha” Henrique de Costa (10-0) (Middleweight)
- Mickey Gall (4-0) vs Randy Brown (9-2) (Welterweight)
- Curtis Blaydes (8-1) vs Aleksei Oleinik (55-10-1) (Heavyweight)
- Corey Anderson (9-3) vs Ovince St. Preaux (21-10) (Light Heavyweight)
- Aiemann Zahabi (78-0) vs Ricardo Ramas (10-1) (Bantamweight)
- Walt Harris (10-6) vs Mark Godbeer (12-3) (Heavyweight)