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UFC Shanghai recap: Gastelum knocks out Bisping, wants Whittaker next

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After a huge first round knockout win over Michael Bisping, Kelvin Gastelum now wants his shot at interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Belfort vs Gastelum Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Just three weeks ago, Michael Bisping stepped inside the Octagon in front of thousands in attendance at Madison Square Garden in New York City to fight Georges St-Pierre. On Saturday night, he flew 8,000 miles to Shanghai, China to face a hungry younger contender Kelvin Gastelum.

What was the high point of the fight?

Unlike his previous fights, Bisping’s calmer demeanor was highly evident coming into this match-up. As he himself admitted, there was no need to run up the hype machine since no title was at stake.

With no pressure on his shoulders, Bisping stood and traded, and took Gastelum’s body kicks in stride. But it was only matter of time before Gastelum’s heavy hands found a home, and a left hook landed squarely on Bisping’s jaw, instantly dropping the former middleweight champion. Referee Marc Goddard jumped in to stop the fight a few moments later, declaring Gastelum the winner by knockout.

Where do these two go from here?

As Bisping himself admitted during the fight, he has been fighting for a long time, and age is slowly beginning to catch up with him. For the first time in his career, he has racked up two consecutive losses. It may indeed be high time for “The Count” to go with his plan of fighting a retirement fight in his home country in March 2018.

Gastelum called out interim champion Robert Whittaker right after the fight and says he is willing to step in as an opponent for UFC 221 in Perth, Australia on February 11th. It is a reasonable match-up to make since it looks like Georges St-Pierre has zero plans of unifying the 185-pound titles just yet.

Watch it now, later or never?

If you are a Michael Bisping fan, this fight is quite cringe-worthy to watch. But for fight fans in general, this is another highlight reel ending you would want to see.