Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre are all set to headline Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) biggest pay-per-view (PPV) event of the year, as “The Count” will defend his Middleweight title against “Rush” at UFC 217 on Nov. 4, 2017, inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.
But, that’s not the real main event — at least according to Cody Garbrandt — who claims his co-main event Bantamweight title fight against T.J. Dillashaw is the true headlining act that most fight fans are more interested in seeing.
“Yeah, this isn’t a gimme fight. The GSP vs Bisping fight is a gimme fight and they are just trying to sell tickets,” Garbrandt barked during a recent media conference call (replay here). “Our fight sells on all avenues, all angles. Everywhere, everyone wants to see this fight. It’s a grudge match, two fighters are going to go out there, a former interim champion fighting a champion, that in itself is the main event.”
Of course, Joanna Jedrzejzcyk and Rose Namajunas — who will battle for the women’s Strawweight title at the event — were on the line, so “No Love” wanted to make sure he didn’t hurt any female feelings.
“No disrespect to Rose or Joanna, but we’re the real main event on Nov. 4,” he added.
For Garbrandt, the fact that he and Dillashaw aren’t tasked with the headlining responsibilities such as doing countless media rounds (like this one) is great, since he can focus on training while Bisping and St-Pierre do all the leg work.
“‘GSP’ and Bisping can travel around and do all the press and media and I can sit back and training to get ready for Nov. 4,” he explained. “I don’t think it needs to be all over-hyped. It’s a fight that doesn’t need hype, doesn’t need media press behind it or any of that. The fight sells itself.”
As for Dillashaw, he actually agreed with his friend-turned rival on those points.
Cody and T.J. were set to headline UFC 213 before “No Love” was bounced from the event because of a back injury. In the end, it seems everything worked out for the best, as they can now get a few more viewers for their title fight thanks to the other two big names selling tickets.