Will GSP return victorious? – UFC 217 Preview

Madison Square Garden will get their second visit from the Utlimate Fighting Championship during UFC 217 on Saturday. MSG gets three main-event caliber title bouts. Joanna Jedrzejczyk defends her belt against top strawweight prospect Rose Namajunas, Cody Garbrandt defends his bantamweight belt against former teammate and rival TJ Dillashaw. And in the most anticipated fight of the year, Georges St. Pierre makes his return to the octagon after four years away from the sport in an attempt to take the Middleweight belt away from Michael Bisping.

Georges St. Pierre (-117) Vs. Michael Bisping (-103)

Georges St. Pierre returns after a 4+ year layoff to face Middleweight king Michael Bisping in possibly the most anticipated return to the octagon in UFC history. GSP, coming off of this four-year layoff has spent his time training, working with fighters associations and business ventures and only returned to the octagon because he felt the itch again. His most recent fight was a split decision victory over Johny Hendricks, a fight in which many thought Hendricks actually won. Michael Bisping has been impressive in his most recent three fights which were victories over Anderson Silva, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson. He seems to get better with age, unlike most fighters where often times the fighters chin will crack and you’ll see them take KO-after-KO. Bisping is just so damn durable, just look at his face immediately after his second fight with Henderson. GSP is now 36 and while he is younger than Bisping, he is also smaller and has worse conditioning. I see “The Count” winning this one and he does it via decision. Michael Bisping Def. Georges St. Pierre

Cody Garbrandt (-178) Vs. TJ Dillashaw (+153)

I hate making this pick. I love watching both of these guys fight so much and I actually want the result to be a draw. The Team Alpha Male drama just makes this fight so much more intriguing. This fight alone could easily headline a high-selling UFC pay-per-view. Cody Garbrandt is the UFC’s next big superstar and with a win over TJ, he could hold that belt for a long time. Now if he loses to TJ, I can see this fight becoming a trilogy fight and possibly could be the best trilogy ever in the lighter weight classes (Yes, beating Faber vs. Cruz). This fight I’ve been flip-flopping on all week and I think that the power and conditioning that Garbrandt showed in his fight against Dominick Cruz ultimately swayed me towards picking him. Cody Garbrandt Def. TJ Dillashaw

Joanna Jedrzejczyk (-530) Vs. Rose Namajunas (+415)

Joanna wins. She’s the best striker in the UFC and can hold her own on the ground if need be. Rose is a great challenge and I believe that she will win 1 round, but only 1 round. Joanna Jedrzejczyk Def. Rose Namajunas

Stephen Thompson (-172) Vs. Jorge Masvidal (+147)

Stephen Thompson most recently fought Champion Tyron Woodley in an absolute snooze fest. Weirdly enough, before that, he also fought Tyron Woodley in a fight of the night at UFC 205. After seeing Tyron’s most recent performance against Damian Maia I tend to believe that Woodley is the boring fighter of these two (Also by Thompson’s KO of current interim Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker). Jorge Masvidal has cemented himself as a top-tier Welterweight after some poor luck in split decision losses to Damian Maia, Lorenz Larkin, Benson Henderson, and Al Iaquinta. He KO’ed Cowboy Cerrone in the tough altitude of Denver, as well as defeating Jake Ellenberger by TKO. The wrestling background of Masvidal can be problematic for the Kickboxer Thompson, but I still believe Wonderboy will take the victory in a close fight (Might be 5 split-decision losses for Masvidal) Stephen Thompson Def. Jorge Masvidal

Johny Hendricks (+195) Vs. Paulo Borrachinha (-230)

Brendan Schaub says it best, A fighter going to Jackson’s MMA is like people moving to Florida when they get old. Their best days are behind them and they are looking to make a massive change in order to chase their former glory. Johny Hendricks can still win fights even with the camp change as we saw in February when he defeated Hector Lombard, but he will not defeat the young powerful Brazilian Borrachinha. Borrachinha has finished every fight during his career including his two fights in the UFC and is currently undefeated in 10 professional bouts. Borrachinha is one of an impressive young wave of Brazilian Prospects joining Edson Barboza, Marlon Moraes, and Antonio Carlos Junior. Borrachinha will defeat Hendricks and I believe that Hendricks will retire soon after. Paulo Borrachinha Def. Johny Hendricks

Other Picks:

James Vick (+165) Def. Joe Duffy (-190)

Walt Harris (-355) Def. Mark Godbeer (+290)

Ovince St. Preux (-159) Def. Corey Anderson (+139)

Randy Brown (-110) Def. Mickey Gall (-110)

Aleksei Oleinik (+280) Def. Curtis Blaydes (-340)

Ion Cutelaba (-500) Def. Michal Oleksiejczuk (UNL)

Aiemann Zahabi (+151) Def. Ricardo Ramos (UNL)

UFC 217 is going to be an epic night with a high-quality card. Enjoy the show. Follow TST’s resident UFC guy on twitter: @foleypz16

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