Many fans were surprised when it was announced that former middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who lost his title to Georges St-Pierre earlier this month at UFC 217, would step in for Anderson Silva to take on Kelvin Gastelum in a short-notice fight at UFC Fight Night 122.
Bisping, who fights Gastelum on Saturday, Nov. 25 in Shanghai, China, after it was revealed that ‘The Spider’ had been removed from the event due to a failed drug test, said the short term goal is to eat some good Chinese food and hopefully ‘kick Kelvin’s ass’.
“I’m already bored out of my mind. I’m like what the (expletive) am I doing? I’m bored,” Bisping told Damon Martin of MMA Weekly in a recent interview. “So I’m like, screw it. I’ve never been to China, let’s do it. Get some good Chinese food and hopefully kick Kelvin’s ass.”
The long term goal, Bisping states, is to retire in his home country of England. The UFC returns to London’s O2 Arena in March, 2018, where ‘The Count’ hopes to hang up the gloves for good.
“Now, I’m close to retirement,” he said. “Obviously, this just came out of the blue 24 hours ago. I wasn’t fighting and now I am. As I say, I had a great training camp. I worked my ass off and now I get to have two paydays out of that. That’s great. Then I’ll probably have one last fight, probably in March. I’d love for my last fight to be in England. You never say never, but right now that’s the plan.”
Bisping, who has been competing in the UFC for over eleven years, knows he didn’t perform to his full potential against St-Pierre and wants to erase that loss as quickly as possible. The Brit was choked unconscious by GSP in the third round.
“I didn’t fight to the full of my potential last week,” Bisping said. “That’s kind of bothering me. This is the perfect opportunity because I want to fight again, but I don’t have to go through all the stress of a training camp and the dieting and everything cause that’s all done. I’ve got no injuries and Kelvin is a good, respected opponent.
“There’s no negatives in this for me.”
UFC Fight Night 122, which features Bisping vs. Gastelum in the main event, takes place this Saturday, November 25 at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai, China.