Michael Bisping has spoken out about his jawdropping decision to accept a short-notice fight with Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai, China, which will take place just three weeks after he lost his middleweight title to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217.
“I can’t see how I cannot take this fight,” Bisping told. FloCombat. “I’m serious because the homework is done.
“I’ve got no injuries, I like to fight and I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth from my last performance. That’s what’s bothering me. The UFC head of legal, Hunter Campbell, he was checking ‘Are you OK, are you OK?’ and physically I’m fine. Mentally, I’m very frustrated.
“So this gives me a chance to exorcize my demons and get some decent mental space back. Physically, I’m totally fine. Mentally, I’m pissed off. So for me it’s almost a gift from the gods.”
According to Bisping, he was the one that actually approached the UFC about fighting Gastelum after learning that Anderson Silva had been removed from the headlining spot due to being flagged by USADA.
“I text [Campbell] saying ‘I see that Gastelum needs an opponent’ and that I know a guy that fought last week that has no injuries,” Bisping recalled. “He texts back ‘interesting’ and I said ‘very.’ Then he called me.
“Obviously he was concerned that I had no injuries or anything like that. I had to do some medical tests or whatever and when he was satisfied, he was like ‘Cool let’s do it.’ He was over the moon. He couldn’t believe it.”
“To be honest, I don’t see any negatives. I don’t see any drawbacks,” he said. “I want to go out there and I want to get in the win column.
“Of course, that’s not a guarantee. Kelvin’s tough. It’s a tough fight, but I feel I can go out there and perform better than I did last week. That’s what’s important to me.”
Despite this bold move, it doesn’t seem like Bisping is planning to stave off retirement for too much longer as he indicated that his final bow in the Octagon could come early next year.
“Hopefully I can go out in a couple of weeks and get back in the win column so I can sleep well at night. Plus I can stick a few more dollars in the bank account and then I’ll have my final fight in London in March.”