Michael Bisping, GSP nearly come to blows in heated staredown (Video)

UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping crossed over into GSP’s teritory and tried to pick a fight with him before their actual contest.

It’s felt like a long time since the UFC has had a blockbuster card. If the pay-per-view numbers for their last two shows are indicative of anything, it’s that apathy among fans might be settling in. That’s why UFC 217, headlined by Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre, feels like a breath of fresh air for the company.

There are three title fights on the Madison Square Garden card, but everyone will be curious to see how the former welterweight champion, and arguably greatest mixed martial artist of all time, will look after a four-year layoff. It seems Bisping is a much more even matchup for GSP than Tyron Woodley considering they’re only separated by two years.

Given Bisping’s propensity to talk trash, Dana White might have considered him to be a more marketable opponent, too. That quality of his was on display when the two fighters faced off following their press conference at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto:

In addition to goading his opponent into a confrontation, Bisping clearly tried to egg on the pro-GSP crowd. It’s rare that these staredowns actually turn into something violent, but perhaps this is an indication that their beef isn’t just manufactured to sell pay-per-views.

We’ve seen in the past that Bisping does well with being an underdog — after all, it’s how he became the middleweight champ on two weeks’ notice. And despite the fact that he’s facing a natural middleweight who hasn’t competed since UFC 167, Bisping may well be an underdog once again.

GSP, meanwhile, has remained in fighting shape and appears ready for this contest. His fighting style is very effective in preventing himself from getting hit, and is the reason he was able to defend his belt nine times. If he beats Bisping, he just might go on another streak.