In case you forgot, Georges St-Pierre is on the very short list of the greatest mixed martial artists of all-time.
On Saturday night at UFC 217, the former longtime UFC welterweight champion returned to the Octagon for the first time in four years and scored a staggering upset over Michael Bisping to capture the UFC middleweight title.
The time of the submission finish at New York’s Madison Square Garden was 4:23 of the third round as St-Pierre (26-2) became just the fourth fighter in UFC history to hold championships in two different weight classes.
“I don’t have a word in my mouth right now,” St-Pierre said after earning his 13th consecutive victory. “It’s a dream come true, guys. Thank you for the support, it’s my dream come true.”
St-Pierre looked in vintage condition in the opening round. With Bisping backing off and respecting St-Pierre’s vaunted wrestling game, St-Pierre landed jabs at will, then a takedown late in the round.
In the second, though, St-Pierre appeared to tire and Bisping picked up the pace, landing heavy shots.
“He hurt me very hard,” St-Pierre said. “Two times I tried to hide it, but man, I wouldn’t like to do that fight again.”
St-Pierre shot for a takedown early in the third and landed it. But Bisping landed strikes as much from the bottom as St-Pierre did from the top, including an elbow which opened a gruesome cut on St-Pierre’s forehead.
Later in the round, St-Pierre landed a wicked left hook which dropped Bisping, leading to the finish. GSP landed several elbows, and while Bisping was able to scramble away, St-Pierre caught him in an air-tight rear-naked choke. Bisping went unconscious rather than tap out.
St-Pierre was a two-time welterweight champion. He vacated the belt in Dec. 2013 following a five-year, eight month reign.
He joined Randy Couture, B.J. Penn, and Conor McGregor as the UFC’s only-two-weight class champions. He is not yet sure what he’ll do next.
“This is not really my real weight, you know? I did it for the challenge,” St-Pierre said.
With the win, St-Pierre tied Bisping for most UFC victories with 20. Bisping (30-8), who had held the title since June 2016, had a five-fight win streak snapped.