Michael Bisping indicated late last year that he would like to retire with one final fight in London, England at UFC Fight Night 127 on March 17th, and Brad Tavares has now offered to be his opponent.
“What’s up @bisping I know you’re looking for a fight in England,” Tavares wrote on Twitter. “Respectfully, I would like to share the octagon with you, and show the English fans how Hawaiians get down!!! @danawhite @Mickmaynard2 @ufc.”
The 30-year-old Tavares is currently unranked in the middleweight division, but is coming off a three-fight winning streak against Caio Magalhaes, Elias Theodorou and Thales Leites.
As for the 38-year-old Bisping, after a remarkable period of success that saw him become the middleweight division’s unlikely champion, he’s since suffered two tough losses in a row to end the year, starting with being choked out by Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 in early November, and then impulsively agreeing to fight Kelvin Gastelum just three weeks later, leading to a first round knockout defeat.
In the wake of that loss many people have questioned why Bisping was allowed to fight again so soon, with one of ‘The Count’s’ rivals Yoel Romero being the latest to brand it as a “crazy” decision.
“I don’t know how the family, the relatives of Michael Bisping allowed him to fight,” Romero said on The MMA Hour show earlier this week. “I don’t know why the team, the coaches said, ‘OK, take the fight.’
“I don’t know why Michael Bisping took the fight. I don’t know why the UFC said yes. This is very dangerous, it’s not just a fight, it’s very dangerous. Normally, he needed rest for like 16 to 19 days, you know. But he’s sleeping, he didn’t tap out, he went to sleep (in the St-Pierre bout). When that happens in a fight, like a choke or knockout, you need a rest, like a minimum of 16 days.”
“I said, ‘OK, the first time with Gastelum, like a jab or something in the face, he (Bisping) was going to go out because he didn’t go through the [recuperation] and the rest that he needed.”
With only six weeks to go until UFC Fight Night 127, it could be that Bisping may rethink his plan to fight at the event to give himself more time to recouperate from that knockout defeat in December.
However, if he is still adamant that his retirement fight will be in the UK then perhaps he’ll be tempted by the chance to fight Tavares, who has been a consistent campaigner throughout his time in the UFC with an 11-4 record, but isn’t a big finisher, with just one victory inside the distance during that run.