Following his victory on Saturday night, Lyoto Machida called out Michael Bisping, and now the former middleweight champion has responded.
“I have a lot of respect for Machida, I really do,” Bisping said on his ‘Believe You Me’ podcast. “Machida, as I said on Saturday, he’s one of the true last martial arts specialists and a real martial artist that competes in the Octagon. So I have respect for him. Of course there was the whole steroid issue and I don’t want to rehash Saturday’s show but there’s always going to be an asterisk over him. Machida, nice guy, good guy.”
Bisping also acknowledged that he had been in discussions to fight another former light-heavyweight champion, Rashad Evans recently, and he sees similarities between the two stars.
“The Rashad fight we spoke about and didn’t materialize and the Machida fight is something as well that could potentially serve as a last fight. Very similar to Rashad in many ways – former champion, had a long career, getting into the final stages of his career, somebody that I haven’t fought, that I have a lot of respect for, that’s had a great career. It ticks all the boxes from that standpoint and that’s about it.”
Having said all that, after ruling himself out of competing at UFC Fight Night 127 in London last week, it seems that Bisping is still trying to decide what his next step should be, with retirement looming large on the horizon.
“As of right now, I’ve got to speak to the UFC and figure out what’s going on myself. I’m not considering opponents and who they are. I’ve got to speak to Dana and the UFC guys and figure out what’s next and what’s happening in life. So god bless Machida, thank you for the call out, and we’ll see what the future holds.”