Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight strikers Michael Bisping and Kelvin Gastelum clashed last night (Nov. 25) at UFC Fight Night 122 inside the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai, China.
Bisping has always been a gamer, but accepting this fight just three weeks after losing his title in a back-and-forth war might just take the cake. That said, Bisping wasn’t just aiming for good will, as the Englishman was determined to bounce back and return to the win column.
Gastelum had a similar goal in mind. The former Welterweight was a massive favorite and expected to blast Bisping early — even despite being undersized and somehow still struggling to make weight.
I can’t argue with his results in the cage though.
Gastelum took the center of the cage immediately and whiffed on a big left, but a hard body kick landed soon after. Bisping held his ground and fired back, looking to counter Gastelum as he came in. In fact, Bisping was looking really sharp, landing nicely with quick shots as his opponent jumped in.
Then, one shot ended it all.
Gastelum stepped in with a left that somewhat landed, and Bisping attempted to answer with a 1-2. This time, Gastelum kept his feet back instead of bouncing away. He leaned away to avoid the cross, then returned his own left hand directly onto the Englishman’s chin.
Bisping’s body shut down immediately.
For all his weight class woes, Gastelum’s power has massively increased in his Middleweight frame. His left hand has become a piston, and it snapped Bisping’s jaw for yet another knockout. It was actually pretty similar to his victory over Belfort, in which the second left hand of the combination ended his opponent’s night.
This win brings about the difficult question of whether or not Gastelum is a true title contender at 185 lbs. Obviously, the Weidman loss is still an issue, but very few men can match Weidman’s size and offensive wrestling. Against the rest of the top contenders, Kelvin still has a fair chance at dropping that left hand across their jaws and ending their nights.
Would I still prefer he gets his diet together and return to Welterweight? Yes, but that seems increasingly unlikely.
I have no major criticism for Bisping. He deserves all the respect in the world for accepting this fight, and he looked sharp until the very end. Simply put, Bisping is not a young man, and the first attributes to fall off are speed and durability. Against a fast, heavy puncher like Gastelum, that’s a huge issue.
Luckily, Bisping still has at least one more fight left in him, as he intends to retire in London.
Last night, Kelvin Gastelum knocked his foe out brutally in short-fashion. Who should the up-and-comer face next?
For complete UFC Fight Night 122 “Bisping vs. Gastelum” results and play-by-play, click HERE!