GEORGES ST-PIERRE ended a four-year exile from UFC in style to claim the middleweight title with an impressive victory over Britain’s Michael Bisping.
The 36-year-old Canadian, who reigned as the welterweight champion for almost six years, is widely considered one of the sport’s modern greats and returned to steal the show at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden with a third-round submission of Bisping.
In taking the Manchester fighter’s belt, St-Pierre becomes only the fourth fighter in UFC history to become a champion in two weight divisions.
He bossed the bout from the start, with a barrage of early strikes that left Bisping with bruises under both eyes and secured takedowns in the the opening two rounds.
A further takedown in the third round saw St-Pierre go for the kill and he secured a win with a rear naked choke.
St-Pierre said in the ring afterwards, shown on UFC.com: “I don’t have the words in my mouth right now, it is a dream come true.
“He hurt me hard, a few times I got stunned, I tried to hide it but I wouldn’t like to do that fight again.
“This isn’t really my real weight, I did it for the challenge, I’m still a welterweight size. It’s not about who has got the biggest balls, it’s about who has got the best technique, setting traps and intelligence. I was fighting a bigger man.”
Bisping added: “You have got to give it to Georges, he was the better man. It’s a hell of a squeeze he’s got there. I’m not done, I know I spoke about retirement but Georges was the better man, no excuses.