Earlier this week, UFC women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie was stripped of her title to refusing to fight the division’s number one contender, Cris “Cyborg” Justino.
The UFC explained the choice to strip de Randamie in a brief statement. A key line of this statement claimed:
“UFC maintains that any champion is expected to accept fights against the top contenders in their respective weight classes in order to maintain the integrity of the sport.”
This portion of the statement prompted many fans to speak out, noting that many other champions have gone long stretches without facing top contenders without being stripped. One such champion, in the opinion of many fans, is UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping. Shortly after winning the title, Bisping defended it against an aging Dan Henderson, rather than a top contender like Yoel Romero or Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. He has not defended it again since then.
“I’ve got to be careful about what I say here because I know everybody’s gonna talk s**t about me and say, ‘You’re a f**king p**sy,” he said. “You f**king defended against Dan Henderson. You’re avoiding number one contenders.’ That is not what’s happened, motherf**kers. The UFC offered me Dan Henderson, I took the fight and then I had knee surgery. Two knee surgeries in fact.”
“The thing about Germaine that always irked me from the very start is even when she beat Holly Holm and won the belt, she immediately said in the ring – because Rogan tried to set up a fight with her and Cyborg – she said, ‘No, no I can’t do it. I have to have hand surgery.’ Immediately after winning the fight she was in the ring, talking to Rogan, ducking the number one contender saying she needs hand surgery. Then, in the post-fight press conference, she’s saying, ‘I think I should rematch with Holly because it was really close.’ So which is it, do you need hand surgery or not?”
“I know people are gonna talk shit because it seems from the outside that I’m f**king avoiding Yoel, which isn’t the case at all. I had two knee surgeries, I’m back training now but I still couldn’t do a training camp. But I do see the parallels that people will draw on and call me a f**king hypocrite.”
Do you think the title reigns of Michael Bisping and Germaine de Randamie are comparable?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/21/2017.