The quest to find Michael Bisping an opponent for his retirement fight looks to have taken a step in the right direction.
After his split-decision win over Eryk Anders this past weekend at UFC Belem, Lyoto Machida took the chance to call-out “The Count” in his post-fight octagon interview, stating “Michael Bisping, I’m here for you man.”
Talking on the most recent episode of his podcast “Believe You Me,” (courtesy of MMANYTT), Bisping addressed Machida’s call-out and had nothing but praise for “The Dragon.”
“He just said we were supposed to fight a couple of times over the years and that it hadn’t happened and that basically he had a lot of respect for me. I’ve got a lot of respect for Machida, I really do.
As I said on Saturday, he’s one of the true martial arts specialist and one of the true martial artists that competes in the Octagon, so I have respect for him. Of course, there was the whole steroid issue, so I don’t want to rehash Saturday’s show, but there’s always going to be an asterisk over him.”
The Brit also touched on the fight between himself and Rashad Evans that was targeted for UFC Fight Night 127, but didn’t come to fruition.
“The Rashad [Evans] fight we spoke about [for my retirement fight] and it didn’t materialize. The Machida fight as well is something that could serve as my last bout. [It’s] very similar to Rashad in many ways, he’s a former champion, had a long career and getting to the final stages of his career. He’s someone I haven’t fought and have a lot of respect for.
“He’s had a great career and it ticks all the boxes from that standpoint. That’s about it. As of right now I’ve got to speak to the UFC and find out what’s going on for myself. I’m not considering opponents or who they are. I’ve got to speak to Dana and the UFC guys and figure out what’s going on next and in life.”
For the first time ever in his lengthy MMA career, Bisping (30-9) is currently on a two-fight losing streak. At UFC 217, he lost his UFC middleweight title at the hands of the returning Georges St-Pierre, he then suffered a first round knockout loss to Kelvin Gastelum three weeks later at UFC Shanghai.