UFC 217 is coming down the pipe pretty quickly, and headliners Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre have indulged in quite a press tour in preparation for the Madison Square Garden showdown.
This week the duo headed north of the border to St-Pierre's home country of Canada and—obviously—spent some time paying their respects to the country's national winter sport of hockey.
After a heated staredown in Toronto that led to some pushing and St-Pierre terrifying a child backstage with his liberal use of foul language, the pair took their hostilities to an even more public venue on Saturday: the ceremonial puck drop prior to St-Pierre's hometown Montreal Canadiens facing off against their historic rival Toronto Maple Leafs.
UFC President Dana White hit the ice first, followed by Bisping. Predictably the raucous Montreal crowd vociferously rained boos down on the UFC middleweight champion before St-Pierre appeared to a hero's welcome and standing ovation.
A former UFC welterweight champion, GSP fought for the strap four times in his hometown and went 4-0 there, most memorably stopping Matt Serra at UFC 83 in the promotion's first-ever visit to the French center of Canada.
Following the welcome and the puck drop, which White took control of, Bisping and St-Pierre squared off in one of the more unusual settings ever to provide a backdrop for such a happening. With players from both teams lined up on their respective blue lines and 20,000 rabid fans boiling over around them, the fighters themselves in street clothes while Bisping brandished his world title, they struck their poses.
Just as they had in Toronto, the sides each took a turn jaw-jacking before things were broken up, and the publicity run rolled on.
The time for talk will be over on November 4 when they throw down, but for now, check out the video below.