By Ben Sullivan
George St-Pierre (26-2) choked out Michael Bisping in the third round of the middleweight title fight, which headlined UFC 217 in New York.
The finish came at the 4:23 mark, moments after St-Pierre floored Bisping (30-8) with a left hook. The Canadian star threw hard punches from the top, before jumping to Bisping’s back and applying a rear-naked choke. Bisping refused to tap and went unconscious.
It is St-Pierre’s 20th career win in the UFC, moving him into a tie with Bisping on the UFC’s all-time list. He also becomes the fourth multidivisional champion in UFC history; he held the welterweight belt from 2008 to 2013, as well.
“I don’t have words in my mouth right now,” St-Pierre said. “It’s a dream come true. He hurt me very hard. I got stunned and tried to hide it. I wouldn’t like to do that fight again.”
“You’ve got to give it up to Georges, he was the better man tonight,” the 38-year-old Bisping said. “New York, I came and fought my ass off. I tried to be entertaining. Georges was the better man. Hell of a f—ing squeeze he’s got.”
The longest-reigning welterweight champion in the sport’s history, St-Pierre walked away from the sport in late 2013, citing his need for a break and the lack of an effective drug-testing system in the sport. The UFC added a comprehensive, year-round drug testing system in 2015.