Unlike the first time, which saw Gastelum pulled from UFC 212 due to a positive drug test for marijuana, it was the legendary former middleweight champion who failed his USADA test. Gastelum will now take on recently dethroned champion Michael Bisping in the UFC Fight Night 122 main event in Shanghai, China.
In a conference call held on Wednesday, Gastelum considered the replacement fight as quite beneficial for him. (Transcription by MMA Mania)
“Mike is obviously the former champion, he’s highly ranked and his position in the UFC is very high, so this is a great move for my career,” Gastelum said.
“He’s ranked No. 2, fresh off his title fight with (Georges St-Pierre),” Gastelum continued. “I feel like this is an even better fight for my career and I expect it to be a tough fight.”
In this situation, Silva is four years removed from his days as the dominant king of 185-pounds, and has more drug test failures than wins during that time span. On the flipside, Bisping entered November as the reigning champion, until Georges St-Pierre put an end to that run at UFC 217. Beating Bisping would certainly be the biggest win of Gastelum’s career in terms of rankings, and puts him right back into title contention following his own submission loss to Chris Weidman in July.
UFC Shanghai takes place on Saturday, November 25th and airs live on UFC Fight Pass.