The UFC heads back to Madison Square Garden to host the return of Georges St-Pierre. Long viewed as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, GSP had to step away from the UFC for various reasons. After nearly four years off, he’s back and thrust into the spotlight, as the Michael Bisping-GSP matchup headlines UFC 217. We’ll focus our UFC 217 fight card preview on that showdown and cover a couple of the other key matchups.


Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre

UFC 217 Odds: St-Pierre -125, Bisping -105

Bisping (30-7) is the middleweight champion, but he isn’t the main attraction in this fight as St-Pierre (25-2), the former welterweight king, returns to the octagon for the first time since November 2013. St-Pierre’s resume is one of the best in the history of the UFC: he holds the record for most wins in title fights (12) and he has defended the welterweight belt nine straight times. However, four years is a long time to be away from MMA and you have to wonder how rusty he’ll be. St-Pierre is also going up in weight to take on Bisping, a natural middleweight.

Bisping, a striker, will look to keep this standing up. St-Pierre is a decent striker as well, but his bread-and-butter was wrestling. He used that to control opponents as well as anyone in the history of the UFC.

Injuries could also play a role in this match. Bisping had been dealing with an eye injury, and St-Pierre tore an ACL, but both appear healthy now. There hasn’t been much talk between the two, and on Monday, St-Pierre revealed that he’s not very good at trash talking. Nonetheless, we’re expecting a show between two fighters who hone their craft very well.


Cody Garbrandt vs. TJ Dillashaw

UFC 217 Odds: Garbrandt -185, Dillashaw +150

Garbrandt (11-0) will look to defend the bantamweight title against Dillashaw (14-2), the former champion who was teammates with Garbrandt at Alpha Male. Garbrandt had to postpone this fight once for an injured back but appears healthy now. Dillashaw might look to utilize his wrestling, but Garbrandt is also strong in that realm. One thing is for sure: these two know each other very well, which could make for a cagey fight, especially early on.

The UFC 217 futures saw Garbrandt open up as a -160 favourite, but now the line has climbed to -185.


Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas

UFC 217 Odds: Jedrzejczyk -600, Namajunas +400

Jedrzejczyk (14-0) has dominated the women’s strawweight division. At UFC 217, Namajunas (6-3) will step up as the next in line to try and dethrone the champion. Jedrzejczyk’s striking usually breaks her opponent’s will, and not getting discouraged might be Namajunas’ biggest challenge. Her best bet is probably to try and take Jedrzejczyk to the mat, but the champion has excellent takedown defense. At this point, taking the belt away from Jedrzejczyk might require some luck. That’s why Jedrzejczyk is the biggest UFC 217 betting favourite on the card.


*Odds as of November 1, 2017