When it was announced that St-Pierre had signed a new deal with the UFC, many automatically assumed he would return to the welterweight division to try and reclaim the 170lbs title, which he vacated in December 2013.
However, he made it crystal clear that he wanted his second stint in the UFC to see him do something he had never done before, grace the middleweight division.
Many in the mixed martial arts world, most notably welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, believed St-Pierre’s decision to pursue a fight with Bisping was based on his belief that the Brit was easy pickings.
According to St-Pierre’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach John Danaher, that wasn’t the case.
“As he came back, there was a question of who is going to be his opponent,” Danaher said during an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. “And the next thing I said was, ‘Well, you never went up a weight division. Go up to 85.”
“No, because that decision was made before Bisping was the champion,” Danaher added when asked by Rogan is ‘GSP’s’ pursuit of middleweight gold was at all motivated by Bisping being the division’s ruler.
“Remember, this was a four-year project.
“Initially, I couldn’t make that decision because another student of mine, Chris Weidman, was the 185lbs champion and Chris and Georges would never fight each other.
“But once that was no longer an issue, it was like, ‘Hey, this could work. This could be interesting.’”