Canadian middleweight Georges St-Pierre did something remarkable Saturday night at UFC 217 in Madison Square Garden. After stepping away from the Octagon four years ago he came roaring back with a decisive victory over Englishman Michael Bisping.
Now St-Pierre is a double champ, having been the welterweight titleholder for five years (2008-2013) before he left the sport—partly because he felt the UFC needed better drug testing.
The decisive moment happened in round three, just over four minutes in. St-Pierre clocked Bisping with a hard left and followed up with a flurry. Then he saw his chance and put his opponent in a brutal rear-naked choke.
Bisping, maybe to his credit, wouldn't tap. So he went to sleep, and the match was over.
Afterwards St-Pierre said he didn't have the words to describe his feelings. "It's a dream come true," he said.
He admitted that Bisping gave him a run for his money. "He hurt me very hard," St-Pierre said, "I got stunned and tried to hide it. I wouldn't like to do that fight again."
Though Bisping managed to open up a dramatic gash on St-Pierre's forehead, Fightmetric's numbers on the Canadian made it clear his time away from the sport took nothing away from his ability to land a punch. Compared to Bisping's 58 blows, St-Pierre connected 74 times.
Bisping made no excuses for his loss. St-Pierre, he said, "was the better man tonight."
"...I came and fought my ass off," Bisping continued, "I tried to be entertaining. Georges was the better man."
"Hell of a fucking squeeze he's got."