Heading into his main event fight against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Shanghai, many people were questioning Michael Bispings decision to jump right back into action just three weeks after being choked out by Georges St-Pierre. Bispings own coach, Jason Parillo, even suggested that Gastelum was a bigger threat than Georges St-Pierre, but Bisping carried on anyway and was knocked out in the first round for his troubles. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, it seems Bisping sees why everyone thought it was a bad idea in the first place.
Speaking on his Believe You Me podcast, the former middleweight champion said that he thinks it was the wrong choice to have such a quick turnaround after a brutal loss and training camp.
It didnt go my way, as everybody knows and saw, said Bisping. I felt great going into that fight, I did. Looking back in hindsight, was I overtrained and emotionally and physically tired? Yes I was, but the problem with having a f**king huge ego and thinking you can still beat people is that I knew that but I still thought I could beat Kelvin Gastelum. Not taking anything away from him. He caught me with a beautiful left hook that put me down. God bless him.
It was a big gamble, it didnt pay off. Had it paid off it would have been great but thats what you do. You roll the dice, you give it a shot, and you hope for the best, and the best man, I guess that was Kelvin so well done to him.
Bisping is the most active fighter in UFC history, with 29 bouts in the organization, but the 21 day turnaround between his loss at UFC 217 and his loss at UFC Shanghai is the shortest of his career. The opportunity arose for Bisping when Anderson Silva was pulled from the fight with Gastelum over a failed USADA test and at the time, Bisping reasoned that he was still in good shape from his failed title defense. But Bisping says that didnt work out well and that he was actually too worn down from his months of preparation for St-Pierre.
That fight was me trying to exorcise some inner demons and try and get back in the win column ASAP., Bisping explained. As I said, it was a huge gamble and for many reasons it was the wrong move, but I dont regret it. If you look at the grand scheme of things . . . I can see that it was the wrong move, but at the time it felt right, so I dont regret it.
After the GSP fight, when I agree to take the Kelvin Gastelum fight, I thought, Well, I just had a week off but I was in great shape, so lets get right back to it, and I sparred everyday for a week. Thats all I did for Kelvin, Southpaws, five rounds, for five days, and then I flew out to China, and I was just done. Emotionally, physically, mentally, I was just spent.
The loss to Gastelum gave Bisping the first losing streak of his career and dropped him from all the way down to No. 7 in the rankings, but unlike the St-Pierre fight, Bisping says this one doesnt bother him because hes at peace with his career.
Im not looking to become champion again, Im looking to finish off my career with a couple of fun fights. I went out there, I didnt get the job done. I couldnt give a f**k about rankings. Im not trying to be the champion again. I had that, that was fun, it was a nice time in my life, I can always claim to have had that title, and now its time to move on with my life.
Im totally fine with it. Im 38 years old. Ive got a wife and kids. Ive got other things I want to focus on in life. Will I do one more fight? Yeah, probably. But that phase of my life now is done and Im happy with that. . . You cant fight forever. I was a champion, no one remains a champion forever, and Im proud of that.
Bisping has maintained that he would like to finish out his career next year in his home country when the UFC returns to London for a Fight Night card on March 17.
$$$. The UFC is entering contract negotiations for their next television rights deal.
The MMA Afterhour.