| Sun 12/11/2017 - 16:18 EST

UFC Futures: St-Pierre vs Robert Whittaker or Conor McGregor

UFC Futures: St-Pierre vs Robert Whittaker or Conor McGregor

St-Pierre to Fight Either Whittaker or McGregor 

It's a testament to his legend that Georges St-Pierre could simply step back in the octagon after a four-year absence and win a championship in a higher weight class.

St-Pierre became a two-division champion, only the fourth in UFC history after he choked Michael Bisping unconscious. That win not only cemented St-Pierre's legacy but sent a sharp message to every fighter in the UFC: GSP is back! And he wants more.

The top two contenders for St-Pierre are in interim middleweight champ Robert Whittaker and lightweight champ Conor McGregor. Whittaker is undefeated at middleweight (7-0) and defeated the seemingly unstoppable Cuban brute Yoel Romero to capture the belt.

McGregor, the UFC's golden boy in St-Pierre's absence, is inactive after having captured the lightweight belt but has fought at welterweight. Two great strikers and two serious tests for St-Pierre but only one gets to fight him. We break down the odds of both fights.

Georges St-Pierre (+150) vs Robert Whittaker (-185)

Georges St-Pierre vs Robert Whittaker

St-Pierre opened as the favourite at -135 but bettors quickly steamed Whittaker and for good reason. Aptly named "Bobby Knuckles", Whittaker has knocked out four of his seven opponents at middleweight and could St-Pierre's toughest opponent to date.

A native of New Zealand, Whittaker is versed in almost all striking styles: Karate, Boxing, and Muay Thai while having skills in wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 

Whittaker has a takedown defense of 86% and has only surrendered takedowns to two fighters at middleweight: Yoel Romero and Souza, the two best grapplers in the division. Whittaker is tough to take down and will get right back up. Whittaker can also go five rounds easily.  

If St-Pierre is face to Whittaker, he can't afford to tire out by trying to wrestle Whittaker. If he chooses to stand with him, he could get lit up. Whittaker is a superior version of Bisping and already has a win over a powerful wrestler like Romero.

Most importantly, he's hungry for the chance to be a superstar.  

Georges St-Pierre (-160) vs Conor McGregor (+130)

Georges St-Pierre vs Conor McGregor

In terms of money fights, this is by far the best fight for St-Pierre.

Opening at -150, money has already come in on "Rush" beating "Mystic Mac" and it is for one reason: wrestling. St-Pierre is lauded as MMA's best wrestler and McGregor's weakness is wrestling. McGregor will also be the smaller fighter here and has a gas tank that depletes around the third round. St-Pierre has a great shot to not just beat Mac but finish him.

But St-Pierre should be weary of McGregor's one-punch knock out power. St-Pierre has absorbed shots from heavy hitters before but none of them hit quite like McGregor whose left punch has been nicknamed the "Death Touch". McGregor may be outclassed in almost every aspect of MMA here but he'll have the proverbial "puncher's chance" and one punch is all he needs. 

If this fight happens, it could break UFC revenue records. There is more to gain here for McGregor who may become the first man to knock St-Pierre out cold but not if GSP submits him first. Either way, this is going to be a megafight that will deliver. 

St-Pierre's Other Potential Opponents

If neither Whittaker nor McGregor is available for St-Pierre, there is a laundry list of other fights that make sense beginning with the current welterweight kingpin, Tyron Woodley.

The three-time defending champion has turned back Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson and is clamoring for his own "money fight." Taking on Woodley allows St-Pierre to become a four-time welterweight champion, another UFC record he can achieve.

This is a long shot, but if St-Pierre chooses to stay at middleweight he can finally fulfill the long-delayed superfight between him and former middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

The Brazilian has only one win in the last four years but is still a household name among. It's too bad he was most recently busted for his second drug violation. Silva now faces a lengthy suspension and at 42, it could be his end.

Regardless who St-Pierre faces, it will be a massive event and Canadians will flock to their favourite online sportsbooks. The signup bonuses offered for new players makes it easy for even casual players to join in the fun. In the unpredictable world of UFC betting, St-Pierre remains a rock for bettors and it would be a shame to miss out on seemingly easy money.  

*Note: all betting odds are from Bodog

Category : UFC

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