Michael Bisping is making a somewhat stunning turnaround for a 38-year-old fighter who just got dropped and choked out in a UFC title fight. Just one-week after his high profile title loss, Bisping took the call to replace Anderson Silva against Kelvin Gastelum in Shanghai on November 25th. That will make just 3-weeks between bouts for a fighter who has talked about retiring sometime in the near future.
But, as Bisping told Ariel Helwani on a recent episode of the MMA Hour, he feels 100% fine physically after his recent fight. And while he was given a provisional suspension by the New York State Athletic Commission, he has since passed the necessary medical tests to be cleared to compete again. Bisping hopes to put what he regards as the emotional cost of his title loss behind him, to do some mental healing by getting another quick win in the Octagon.
And then it sounds like he’ll start thinking again about the end of his career again. An end that, win or lose, won’t come in Shanghai, but just possibly at UFC London on March 17th (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“Again, I have nothing against China,” Bisping said, after Helwain posited that it didn’t make sense for the ‘Count’ to retire in Shanghai, “they are a lovely race of people. I have never been to China, why is my retirement fight going to be in China?
“There’s a fight card on in London. I would love to be on that. I would love to be a part of that to say thank you to the British people who supported me and have my last fight there.”
“I definitely want my last fight to be in England. I’ve always wanted my last fight to be in England.”
At the moment, the only bout penciled in for the UFC’s next trip to London is a light heavyweight contest between UFC newcomer Magomed Ankalaev and Scottish talent Paul Craig. If Bisping can come out of his bout with Gastelum relatively unscathed that should leave him set for one last big fight before hanging up the gloves.