When Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum laid waste to former champion Michael Bisping in the UFC Fight Night 122 main event last month in Shanghai (watch it), the mixed martial arts (MMA) community lost its shit.
Blame this guy.
Nothing against Gastelum, but questions were raised as to why the previously-suspended “Count” was allowed to compete roughly three week after getting choked out by Georges St-Pierre in the UFC 217 pay-per-view (PPV) headliner in New York.
After the fight, Bisping defended his decision to compete and put the majority of the blame on himself. However, as the brash Brit starts to put some distance between himself and his second-to-last fight, he realizes it probably wasn’t the best move.
“I felt great going into that fight, I did. Looking back in hindsight, was I overtrained and emotionally and physically tired? Yes I was, but the problem with having a fucking huge ego and thinking you can still beat people is that I knew that, but I still thought I could beat Kelvin Gastelum. That fight was me trying to exorcise some inner demons and try and get back in the win column ASAP. As I said, it was a huge gamble and for many reasons it was the wrong move, but I don’t regret it. If you look at the grand scheme of things . . . I can see that it was the wrong move, but at the time it felt right, so I don’t regret it. I’m not trying to be the champion again. I had that, that was fun, it was a nice time in my life, I can always claim to have had that title, and now it’s time to move on with my life.”
Next (and last) stop? UFC Fight Night 127 in London, England.
Bisping, who has more than 40 MMA fights (including TUF), turns 39 in February. It shouldn’t be difficult to find him a farewell bout, but it’s hard to imagine “The Count” agreeing to fight someone like Yoel Romero or even Luke Rockhold if he’s no longer looking to be ranked (or crowned champion).
There’s always the struggling Lyoto Machida.
It will be interesting to see what direction the promotion goes in terms of accomodating Bisping across the pond. Either way, you can expect to see Bisping in the UFC Hall of Fame at some point in the not-too-disant future.