Joe Rogan Disapproves of Bisping vs. GSP from a 'Purist Point of View'

Nathan McCarter@McCarterNFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2017

Mar 3, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dana White (middle) stands between Michael Bisping (left) and Georges St-Pierre (right) during a press conference to promote their about prior to weigh ins for UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Georges St-Pierre is returning to the Octagon later this year, and he will challenge Michael Bisping for the middleweight title. UFC color commentator Joe Rogan is not a fan of that decision.

Rogan joined the 5ive Rounds podcast (h/t MMAFighting.com's Jed Meshew) and discussed the upcoming 185-pound title tilt.

Rogan's disagreement stems from a "purist point of view." The longtime UFC commentator said, "If you're going to have a champion and you're gonna have these divisions where one man rules over the division, there should be a very clear hierarchy."

Does he have a point?

Yoel Romero was next in line for a title shot and had a feud starting to boil with Bisping. Now that gets put on hold for an undisclosed amount of time. The former Olympian is on an eight-fight win streak, whereas GSP has not fought since November 2013.

The Bisping-GSP clash does put a hold on the middleweight contenders who have been competing regularly, while GSP steps in at a new weight for a title shot right away. Perhaps this is just the new reality under WME-IMG. Name value and pay-per-view drawing ability will always trump current rankings.

In short, spectacle will always topple sport.

Rogan is firmly in the sporting camp. He continued on in the podcast saying, "If you're gonna do this whole interim title thing and you're gonna have guys come back after being out of the sport for three years and get a shot right at the title, why have f--king championships at all."

He did call the Bisping-GSP bout a great fight, and it is. However, this is a larger argument about the UFC and upholding a semblance of sport. Championships mean something, but giving out title shots to fighters who haven't fought in over three years diminishes the meaning of the entire division.

For Bisping, GSP and the UFC, it makes sense. It is a money fight and the biggest fight they could do in the division. It's something everyone understands, but it forces Romero and the rest of the middleweights into a holding pattern. Especially since GSP will not commit to defending the title belt.

Rogan is a purist and a lover of keeping MMA a sport. He has a great argument for the dangers of this type of matchmaking, but money will always speak loudest. Principally when an entity spends $4 billion for the UFC.