Just one week removed from being the UFC middleweight champion of the world, Michael Bisping has shown a type of class very seldom seen these days
Bisping has done something not many other fighters would be willing to do.
Following his middleweight title fight loss to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 just last week, Bisping has allegedly agreed to step in to replace Anderson Silva in a fight with Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai in just two weeks’ time. The initial report was obtained from MMAFighting.com.
Silva has been suspended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency and subsequently removed from the card following a failed out-of-competition drug test administered by USADA on Oct. 26. It is currently unknown what substance the MMA legend tested positive for. Further details may be released in the coming weeks.
Bisping had a five-fight winning streak ended in dramatic fashion inside Madison Square Garden by returning legend St-Pierre last week. Having stood on the biggest stage imaginable, it is nothing less than refreshing to see Bisping happy to take a fight against Gastelum.
There were many who had expected Bisping to retire following his loss to the Canadian legend. The Brit had openly suggested in the past year that he may be on the cusp of retiring. Following his third round rear-naked choke loss to Georges St-Pierre on the main bill of UFC 217 in Madison Square Garden, New York, there was a mild expectation that Bisping may have announced that was all she wrote. On the contrary, the 38-year-old maintained that he wasn’t done just yet:
“I don’t need time off, I’m fine,” Bisping told those assembled at the UFC 217 post-fight press conference. “I’ve got no injuries whatsoever, I’m not hurt at all. I’ve got a couple of little scuffs on my face, but nothing hurt me. Tonight was his night. Maybe [I’ll fight] March in London [at UFC Fight Night 127], that sounds nice. We’ll see.
“But listen, I love doing what I do. I’m from a small town in the northwest of England, I never thought I’d be headlining Madison Square Garden. And I’ll be damned if the last time I do it is me getting choked out on TV. So, it wasn’t my night, but that’s the way [it goes] with professional sports. One man or one team wins, and one man or one team loses.”
Bisping was philosophical in defeat last week in New York and stayed true to his word that he would be back:
“It feels like yesterday, I was champion of the world,” Bisping joked. “Listen, I’m happy. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in this sport. I really am, and you can’t take that away from me. My kids are over there and they just said, ‘I thought you’d be more pissed off.’ And listen, of course I’m pissed off. I’m crushed inside. I am. But also, at the same time, I realize what’s important in life. This is what I dedicated my life to, but I do it for my children. I’m hearing we did over a million pay-per-view buys tonight from the top people, so that’s good.
“It’s a nice little consolation prize, but to answer your question, I’m happy. I’m happy with what I’ve done. Yeah, I’m crushed inside, but life goes on. Life goes on. Every time you fight, one man’s going to win and one man’s going to lose. That’s what you sign up for. You can’t cry like a little b*tch. All respect to Georges. Well done, he beat me. I felt fantastic going in there tonight. I truly thought I was going to smoke him, and I didn’t, so well done.”
Gastelum’s last appearance inside the octagon was a loss to Chris Weidman earlier this year and will likely be relieved to have the Brit step in. The event is set to go down at Mercedez-Benz Arena in Shanghai on Nov. 25. This will be the first UFC event in mainland China.
Should the fight be confirmed, there is no doubt that the MMA community will react very positively to the news. Bisping has already cemented his legend in the sport, despite a period where thing looked to be going downhill.
More of this in the UFC, please.