We all know how the story went. Michael Bisping tore up Georges St-Pierre in the former welterweight king’s triumphant return to the UFC, but in the end Bisping was submitted and lost his middleweight title. Eager to get the bad taste of a loss out of his mouth, he accepted a short-notice fight against Kelvin Gastelum and got knocked out. The former champ hasn’t shied away from the spotlight since his back-t0-back losses, but his latest podcast is the most in-depth he’s talked about what went down. In hindsight, the man admits it may have been the wrong move.
“It didn’t go my way, as everybody knows and saw. 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-cking 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 didn’t pay off. Had it paid off it would have been great but that’s 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. “That fight was me trying to exorcise some inner demons and try and get back in the win column ASAP. As I said, it was a huge gamble and for many reasons it was the wrong move, but I don’t 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 don’t regret it.”
— BelieveYouMePodcast (@BYMPod) December 5, 2017
“After the [Georges St-Pierre] 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 let’s get right back to it,’ and I sparred everyday for a week. That’s 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. I’m not looking to become champion again, I’m looking to finish off my career with a couple of fun fights. I went out there, I didn’t get the job done. I couldn’t give a f-ck about rankings. I’m 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 it’s time to move on with my life.” — Michael Bisping speaking on his Believe You Me podcast.
The losses and obligatory pre-fight trash talk aside, you have to respect a warrior like Michael Bisping for even considering what he tried to do. So what, it backfired. As we near the end of Bisping’s career, that loss will be just a blip in a historic career and we’ll remember that he was always up for a fight with anyone, anywhere. Bisping still plans on having at least one more big fight in England before walking away from the sport and we’ll all miss him when he’s gone.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/6/2017.