Georges St-Pierre will get a shot at UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping

on Jul30

In the turn of two fights Saturday, the UFC found its pay-per-view position boosted significantly.

The dull showing by welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in defeating Demian Maia at the Honda Center prompted UFC President Dana White to alter his plans for popular former longtime welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, moving him back to a date against middleweight champion Michael Bisping.

“The ship turned around,” White admitted after saying the idea of a St-Pierre-Bisping bout “has sailed” earlier in the week because they failed to stage a July 8 bout because of injuries.

St-Pierre agent Nick Khan, who met with White last week, said his fighter will take on Bisping on Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden during UFC 217 or Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena during UFC 219.

“It was a productive meeting … GSP is looking forward to returning to the UFC against Bisping,” Khan said.

Also, Jon Jones, the organization’s former No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, reunited with the UFC light-heavyweight belt by defeating Daniel Cormier in the main event and immediately sought out the man who can produce the most riches.

Following a fback-and-forth during fight week with former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE performer Brock Lesnar, Jones followed his third-round technical knockout of Cormier by calling out Lesnar.

“Brock Lesnar, if you want to know what it feels like to get your [rear] kicked by a guy 40 pounds less than you, meet me in the octagon,” Jones said.

Lesnar quickly responded to the Associated Press, saying, “Be careful what you wish for, young man.”

Jones said, “It got serious real quick. My coaches said, ‘It’s going to make a lot of money,’ and they said, ‘Jon, you can do this.’ It will bring a more general public to the sport of mixed martial arts. That’s what we need.”

Lesnar won’t be eligible to return to the UFC until February, a company official said, after he tested positive for a banned substance following a UFC 200 victory over Mark Hunt in July 2016. The verdict was changed to a no-contest.

Jones endured his own year-long suspension for a positive test result for a banned substance before UFC 200.

The 30-year-old returned impressively to close a competitive fight with Cormier by delivering a head kick and 18 unanswered blows to the head during the third round.

He praised a tearful Cormier as “a true champion” afterward, but the 38-year-old former champion appeared resigned to the fact that another date with Jones might’ve escaped for good.

White told reporters late Saturday that Woodley’s victory over Maia, which disappointed the crowd, leaves him with little choice but to send Woodley to a possible date against former champion Robbie Lawler instead of St-Pierre.

“He got booed out of the arena,” White said. “I know Michael Bisping will fight.”

Earlier in the week, White said Woodley would get St-Pierre if he defeated Maia, which he did by scores of 50-45, 49-46, 49-46, while successfully defending against all of Maia’s takedown attempts.

“I have no reaction. The next person who steps in front of me, I’m going to beat them,” Woodley said.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimespugmire



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