Kelvin Gastelum likely has a new opponent for the UFC Fight Night 122 main event in China — and it’s a another former UFC champion.
Less than a week after losing the middleweight title by submission to Georges St-Pierre, Michael Bisping has agreed to fight Gastelum on short notice, MMAFighting.com reported Saturday evening. The fight is expected to soon be finalized and announced by the UFC, per the report.
Gastelum lost his initial opponent — Anderson Silva — when U.S. Anti-Doping Agency notified “The Spider” of a potential doping violation earlier this week. Silva, a former champ himself, was subsequently pulled from the card.
Gastelum (13-3, 1 NC) is coming off a submission loss to former 185-pound titleholder Chris Weidman at UFC on FOX 25 in July. Prior to that, he won three in a row, with stoppages over Vitor Belfort and Tim Kennedy, and a decision over Johny Hendricks. The Belfort knockout was overturned to a no contest after Gastelum failed a drug test for marijuana.
Bisping (30-8) lost to GSP in the UFC 217 main event at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Before the loss, Bisping was riding a five-fight winning streak. He defended the belt once with a decision win over Dan Henderson. He finished Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in June 2016 to capture the title.
The New York State Athletic Commission medically suspended Bisping 30 days after UFC 217. UFC Fight Night 122 takes place 21 days after the blockbuster pay-per-view. China, though, isn’t regulated by the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports.
UFC Fight Night 122 takes place at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China on Nov. 25. The event, which marks the promotion’s first trip to mainland China, will stream live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.