The Bisping-St-Pierre bout was announced earlier this month by UFC president Dana White, albeit with no confirmation of date or venue. Having said July 8 was the date he had discussed with White, Bisping, during a recent episode on his podcast, indicated that St-Pierre would not be ready.
St-Pierre, who was tempted out of retirement by the prospect of a lucrative clash with the Mancunian, reportedly wants the match-up to take place in September, but Bisping has made it clear he will not wait around if negotiations stall.
“Long story short, it looks like GSP is trying to push for a later date,” the Englishman said.
“I heard that they wanted September/October and that’s what the UFC told me as well. If he wants to wait until September or October, then he can go find himself another opponent, buddy. Because I call the shots. It’s my belt. I’m the champion and I’m not willing to sit around until September or October.
“July 8, Las Vegas, International Fight Week is the date and the event that we are targeting.
“But Dana wouldn’t confirm the date at the press conference. But then I saw Dana a couple of weeks later and Dana said, ‘Yeah we’re still hoping for July 8 ‘.
“This fight was discussed in January. Fighting in September or October is ridiculous. July 8 is the date. I will be a bit flexible and go past that a little bit, but I want to fight at International Fight Week.”
Romero earned a title shot following a third-round knockout of Chris Weidman at UFC 205 last November, only for the mixed martial arts promotion to bypass him in favour of St-Pierre, who has never fought at middleweight, but is UFC’s longest-reigning welterweight champion having defended the belt nine times from 2008-2013.
Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson will meet for a second time in 17 months for the UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 210.
It’s set to be a thrilling re-match after Cormier submitted Johnson in the third round to clinch victory at UFC 187.
And, ahead of the bout on April 8, we take a look at five other top light heavyweight title fights.
2005: CHUCK LIDDELL VS RANDY COUTURE II
After being stopped in the third round at UFC 52 in 2003, Liddell had to wait two years for his shot at redemption against Couture. At the time this fight was the highest grossing UFC event ever with over 280,000 PPV buys. Midway through round one, Liddell caught Couture with multiple strikes to win the title.
2008: FORREST GRIFFIN VS QUINTON JACKSON
Big Forest Griffin stripped the belt from Quinton Jackson in a thrilling five round encounter at UFC 86. Deep in the fourth as Griffin tired, Jackon’s clever use of movement, kicks and submission attempts were key to beating the champion.
2009: LYOTO MACHIDA VS RASHAD EVANS
Machida produced an absolute masterclass to beat Rashad Evans in an explosive title fight at UFC 98. Coming into the fight, Evans was yet to lose in his 19 pro bouts, while Machinda was an undefeated challenger. After two rounds, Machida caught Evans with a flurry of punches to seal the title.
2013: JON JONES VS ALEXANDER GUSTAFSSON
In the build up to UFC 165, Jones was bidding to set a record for the most number of successful title defences. With the match evenly locked after four rounds, Jones looked in trouble after a strong Gustafsson right hook, but a late barrage of punches earned the American victory.
2015: DANIEL CORMIER VS ALEXANDER GUSTAFSSON
Cormer came into the fight looking to prove that his win over Anthony Johnson was no fluke. He survived several Gustafsson attacks during the opening rounds, but managed to claw his way back into the contest and win on split decision.
UFC 210 will see Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson battle it out for the light heavyweight championship in what promises to be a thrilling encounter.
Cormier is the current champion of the division, with Johnson his closest rival at No. 1 in the rankings, so it’s no surprise that their fight is the main event on the card.
The Saturday, April 8 event in Buffalo also features middleweights Chris Weidman and Gegard Mousasi, ranked Nos. 4 and 5 respectively, facing off in the co-main event.
Who do you think will come out on top?