Shortly after his recent split decision win over Eryk Anders, former UFC light heavyweight champion and middleweight title challenger Lyoto Machida called out former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping.
“That’s a fight that should’ve happened a couple times and it didn’t,” Machida said at the UFC Belem post-fight presser. “I think we both matured together in this sport, so I think fight between Michael Bisping and myself would mean a lot.
“He might retire sometime soon, I could retire sometime soon, and people asked for that fight, so it’s a fight that interests me.”
Now, the former champion Bisping has responded, admitting that this bout makes a lot of sense for his retirement fight, which was originally expected to occur in London this March, but has temporarily been relegated to the back burner.
“He just said we were supposed to fight a couple of times over the years and that it hadn’t happened and that basically he had a lot of respect for me,” Bisping said on his podcast Believe You Me (h/t MMANytt). “I’ve got a lot of respect for Machida, I really do. As I said on Saturday, he’s one of the true martial arts specialist and one of the true martial artists that competes in the Octagon, so I have respect for him. Of course, there was the whole steroid issue, so I don’t want to rehash Saturday’s show, but there’s always going to be an asterisk over him.”
“The Rashad [Evans] fight we spoke about [for my retirement fight] and it didn’t materialize. The Machida fight as well is something that could serve as my last bout. [It’s] very similar to Rashad in many ways, he’s a former champion, had a long career and getting to the final stages of his career. He’s someone I haven’t fought and have a lot of respect for.”
“He’s had a great career and it ticks all the boxes from that standpoint. That’s about it. As of right now I’ve got to speak to the UFC and find out what’s going on for myself. I’m not considering opponents or who they are. I’ve got to speak to Dana and the UFC guys and figure out what’s going on next and in life.”
Do you think a fight between Michael Bisping and Lyoto Machida is the one to make?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/6/2018.