Georges St-Pierre is set to return to UFC and Dan Hardy reckons he could be even better
St-Pierre has not fought since 2013 when he defended his welterweight title against Johny Hendricks, a belt he would vacate a month later to take some time out of the sport.
But his long-awaited comeback was confirmed earlier this year with UFC president Dana White revealing a fight against Bisping for the middleweight title would happen at some point in 2017.
Many observers, including No 2 ranked middleweight Luke Rockhold, claim St-Pierre's style will not match up well with Bisping and he is certain to lose.
Georges St-Pierre and Michael Bisping announced their title fight earlier this year
But Hardy, who challenged GSP for the welterweight title back in 2010, thinks that he is unlikely to have spent four years away from the Octagon resting on his laurels.
"GSP is such a dedicated martial artist and having such great coaches around him, there’s no doubt he will have continued to develop which is very exciting" Hardy told Express Sport.
"It’s great to take one of the best fighters in the world, remove him from the sport and allow him the budget, the time and the facilities to be as good as he can be.
"From my own experience of being away from the sport for a while, sitting on the periphery and watching it develop, you see skill-sets come and go.
"Strikers are the thing at the moment but the wrestlers will probably be next with the ground and pound but I’m very excited for GSP’s return."
Hardy has been out of action on medical grounds since 2012 although he harbours hopes of a return to the Octagon at some point.
Georges St-Pierre and Dan Hardy fought a title fight seven years ago
And he has remained close to the sport as a UFC analyst and is delighted to see his former opponent back in MMA action.
"I was always a fan of Georges and obviously getting to fight him was a great experience," Hardy added.
"Afterwards I’ve trained with him a few times and I’ve been to Montreal and spent a good chunk of time with him. I have nothing but love and respect for the guy.
"He’s a great martial artist and a great athlete.
"I don’t think there is a better ambassador for the sport.
"He’s going to come back and fight Michael Bisping – what an opponent to come back against.
"It’s so exciting because we don’t know what to expect from Georges while we know exactly what to expect from Michael."
***Dan Hardy's autobiography, Part Reptile, is published by Headline, priced £20.00 and out now.***