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Georges St. Pierre’s UFC return targeted for UFC 217 in New York

UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping is expected defend his title against former welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre at Madison Square Garden in New York on Nov. 4.

The bout would likely serve as the main event of UFC 217.

Bisping confirmed the date had been targeted during Wednesday night’s episode of “UFC Tonight” on Fox Sports 1. He had made similar comments on his podcast earlier in the week.

“It is official,” Bisping said. “Do not miss it. We’re taking over.”

St. Pierre, who retired and vacated the title after a split-decision win over Johny Hendricks in November 2013, is coming out of retirement to challenge Bisping for the belt. The matchup was announced in March without a date, though it was later scrapped because neither fighter was ready to compete.

UFC president Dana White said St. Pierre would instead challenge Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title, only to again reverse course after White was disappointed in Woodley’s lack of aggression in a successful title defense against Demian Maia on Saturday.

St. Pierre has won 12 straight fights. Bisping, who is currently recovering from a knee injury, earned the title with a first-round knockout of Luke Rockhold in June 2016 and defended it with a unanimous-decision win over Dan Henderson in October.

Robert Whittaker holds the interim bantamweight title and was expected to be Bisping’s next challenger. Whittaker is out with a knee injury, however, and is expected to fight the winner of the fight between St. Pierre and Bisping.

UFC 217 will mark the organization’s second event at Madison Square Garden.

More MMA: Follow all of our MMA and UFC coverage online at CoveringTheCage.com and @CoveringTheCage on Twitter.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.

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