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UFC 217: What happened when Georges St-Pierre returned to the Octagon after a four year absence?

Paul Benson
ANALYST
Feature
Published 18 Jan 2019, 20:04 IST
18 Jan 2019, 20:04 IST

George St. Pierre challenged Michael Bisping for the Middleweight title
George St. Pierre challenged Michael Bisping for the Middleweight title

UFC 217 was built around the return of Georges St-Pierre. The super popular Canadian had exited the company in November 2013 after becoming burnt out on fighting. Now four years later on November 4, 2017, he was back and the challenger to Briton, Michael Bisping's Middleweight Championship.

Stepping up in weight, no one was quite sure what to expect from GSP. The former Welterweight Champion had not missed a beat however, and despite fighting heavier than he ever had before, was more than a match for Bisping.

GSP started the aggressor and landed some heavy shots on Bisping before the champion composed himself and began to take control in the second round with some big time strikes, including some huge elbows that busted his challenger open, before GSP roared back.

A massive left hock rocked Bisping and GSP locked in a super tight rear naked choke for the impressive victory. GSP was the new Middleweight Champion.

GSP won UFC gold once again at UFC 217
GSP won UFC gold once again at UFC 217

Unfortunately, he has not fought since, due to illness. Bisping would fight (and lose) one more time, three weeks later to Kevin Gastelum on a Fight Night card in China. He announced his retirement from MMA six months later.

The co-headliner saw TJ Dillashaw successfully defend the Bantamweight title against the man he won it from in Cody Garbrandt. Anyone who thought Dillashaw's title win was a fluke were forced to eat their words when despite being dropped in round one, the champion showed excellent composure and heart to fire back in the second and take out Garbrandt with an impressive flurry of punches. Still the reigning, defending Bantamweight Champion: Cody Garbrandt.

In the third title match on a stacked card, Rose Namajunas won the Strawweight title from the thought unbeatable Joanna Jedrzejczyk. It took just three minutes for Rose to smash through Joanna's defences. A terrific flurry drew gasps from the crowd as she dropped Joanna to win the belt.

Rose Namajunas wins the Strawweight title at UFC 217
Rose Namajunas wins the Strawweight title at UFC 217
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Stephen Thompson picked apart Jorge Masvidal in a hugely impressive and dominant performance as he landed strikes with ease to earn a Unanimous Decision victory.

In the final bout of the card, Paulo Costa defeated former prospect, big hitter, Johnny Hendricks with ease. He took apart Hendricks with body kicks and jabs before finally unloading with brutal shots to earn the win.

UFC 217 delivered from top to bottom and the return of GSP saw the card outdraw the rest of 2017's cards, by pulling in a massive 875,000 buys.

Modified 20 Dec 2019, 21:04 IST
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