TORONTO - UFC president Dana White has pulled the plug on Georges St-Pierre's comeback fight against middleweight champion Michael Bisping.
St-Pierre, who has not fought since November 2013, says he is ready to fight after October. White says that's too late.
“I made this GSP fight, we did a press conference. The thing was supposed to happen in July. Michael Bisping is going to have to defend his title now. We're not waiting for GSP,” White told Fox Sports Australia.
The 35-year-old St-Pierre last fought at UFC 167 when he won a narrow decision over Johny (Bigg Rigg) Hendricks for his 12th straight victory. St-Pierre then took a hiatus, saying he needed time away from the sport.
When the Montreal MMA star's return was announced in February, the UFC said the Bisping-GSP fight would take place in the second half of the year.
St-Pierre offered his own take on that in a social media video posting last Friday.
“Mr Bisping, I cleared my entire schedule to get ready for training camp after the summer. So I can fight you any time after October. You pick the date. Let's get it on.”
That did not go down well with the UFC boss, apparently upset that everything was on hold in the middleweight division because of GSP.
“Georges St-Pierre is saying he will not be ready to compete now until November. Who knows if that's even the case. It could be next year,” White told Fox Sports Australia. “So we're not waiting for Georges St-Pierre any more. We're moving on with the division, and Yoel Romero will get the next shot.”
Romero (12-1-0) is the No. 1 contender at 185 pounds.
St-Pierre was unaware of White's statement that the Bisping fight was off. “I didn't know that,” he said in a text.
While a major pay-per-view star in his first go-round with the UFC, St-Pierre has bumped heads with the organization more recently on everything from drug testing to timing of his return.
The 38-year-old Bisping (31-7-0) had been campaigning for a big-money fight against St-Pierre (25-2-0).
The colourful English fighter won the middleweight championship from Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in January 2016, subsequently defending the title against Dan Henderson.
St-Pierre's previous UFC fights were all at 170 pounds.