A UFC middleweight title fight between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre is “official,” according to the champion himself. Bisping (30-7) said on “UFC Tonight” on Wednesday that the 185-pound title bout will take place at UFC 217 on Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden. “This is actually the third time I’ve been offered this fight, so the ship’s sailed twice,” Bisping said. “On this occasion, the third occasion, it set off sailing but did a U-turn and pulled up at New York City.

“I’ve got a chirpy little Englishman who’s going to fight Georges St-Pierre, Madison Square Garden, Nov. 4. It is official. Put it in your diaries. Do not miss it. We’re taking over.” The UFC has not yet announced the bout, but president Dana White told media members last weekend in Anaheim, California, that he intended to book the fight. The bout was initially announced earlier this year, but with no date attached. The UFC even held a news conference in March in Las Vegas to formally promote the fight.

St-Pierre (25-2), a former welterweight champion who has not fought since 2013, required more time to get ready for the bout than the UFC wanted, however, and White said on several occasions that the promotion was moving on. Bisping, 38, even confronted Robert Whittaker inside the Octagon at UFC 213 last month after Whittaker defeated Yoel Romero to win the interim middleweight title. Expectations were that Bisping would face Whittaker later this year, but Whittaker is dealing with a knee injury.

Before UFC 214, White had stated that GSP would be fighting the winner of the Welterweight Title fight between Tyron Woodley and Damien Maia, but that quickly changed after the match, in which Woodley won in fairly unspectacular fashion. In the post-fight press conference he announced that he changed his mind in the fifth round, because he knew “Bisping will show up and fight.” He also announced that the winner of the Bisping/GSP match would fight Whittaker when he recovered in a unification match.

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