Former UFC welterweight champion George St. Pierre has always been known for respectful and professional conduct both in and out of the octagon. That’s why it was a surprise to many when he engaged in a trash-talking with former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping. This was during the lead-up to their bout at UFC 217 on November 4, 2017.
Bisping was known for his trash-talking tactics at the time. He tried to get under St. Pierre’s skin by calling him names and claiming that he would knock him out. Not one to back down, St. Pierre tried to hold his own verbally as well.
Things escalated when the two almost got into it during their UFC media event in Toronto on October 13, 2017. Bisping got into St. Pierre’s face during a stare-down, and the Canadian MMA legend pushed him. UFC President Dana White had to intervene and separate them.
Bisping then followed St. Pierre backstage and confronted him again while he was meeting with a fan. Both competitors cursed at each other and threatened start a brawl on the spot. However, Bisping’s people stepped in to separate them.
Many fans believed that their issues were real, but St. Pierre has since revealed that it was all a part of Bisping’s strategy to sell the bout.
During an appearance on the Full Send Podcast, St. Pierre shared that his issues with Bisping were staged to promote their bout at UFC 217. He claimed that Bisping almost staged the confrontation at their media event.
St. Pierre explained that after one of the press conferences, they went back to the parking lot. To get to the parking lot, they had to pass through the same spot where they did their incident. Bisping walked back to St. Pierre and went face to face with him, warning him to keep his hands to himself. St. Pierre pushed back, and they continued talking until they were separated.
GSP stated: “… there was a lot of trash talk. One of the best things that he did, actually, for leading up to that fight was with a lot of the stuff are like promotional stuff. We do press conferences and things like that, but the best thing that he did, and he’s a clever guy.”
“We were in Toronto, and after one of the press conferences, we went back to the parking lot to our cars and our cars were in different locations, but to go to the parking lot we had to go through the same spot and when we did that press conference we had a stare down, and he kind of went to touch me, so I had to push him.”
“So when we went to the parking lot after the press conference, I think he saw that TMZ was there, so he walked back to me in the parking lot, and he went face to face with me and said, ‘Keep your F*cking hands on you, because the next time you do that I’m going to smash you.’ I’m like, what F you touch me first, so don’t touch me if you don’t me to touch you.”
St. Pierre admitted that he wasn’t in on Bisping’s plan, but he acknowledged that it was a clever promotional tactic. The incident went viral and generated buzz for their match.
He stated: “…It wasn’t staged because it was real. Like the way I felt when it happened, I was like, does he really want to fight with me and I was ready to fight if something happened, and ”
“I’m sure the same thing for him, but he did it in a promotional way to instigate me, but that was very smart because that went viral. It was crazy.”
At UFC 217, St. Pierre later defeated Bisping by submission to win the UFC Middleweight Championship. Despite their past altercation, St. Pierre and Bisping are friends today and even shared a drink while they were in London, United Kingdom, for UFC 286.
Adam Miller is a talented writer with a passion for the UFC. As a UFC writer for Calfkicker, he’s found a way to combine his love for the sport with his gift for words. With a diploma in journalism and mass communication, Adam has a deep understanding of how to craft compelling content that resonates with readers.
Before finding his niche in the world of UFC writing, Adam worked as a freelance link builder and content writer. His diverse range of clients and businesses allowed him to hone his craft and develop a unique perspective that sets him apart from other writers in the field.