In hindsight, Michael Bisping admits that taking a short-notice fight against Kelvin Gastelum was the wrong move.
Many fans were shocked when Michael Bisping stepped in for Anderson Silva to take on Kelvin Gastelum just three weeks after his middleweight championship loss to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217.
Bisping, 38, was choked unconscious by St-Pierre and violently knocked unconscious by Gastelum in the space of a month, but at the time of the Gastelum bout, ‘The Count’ says his ‘f–king huge ego’ got in the way of being able to see things with clarity.
“It didn’t go my way, as everybody knows and saw,” Bisping said on his podcast, Believe You Me (h/t Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting). “I felt great going into that fight, I did. Looking back in hindsight, was I overtrained and emotionally and physically tired? Yes I was, but the problem with having a f**king huge ego and thinking you can still beat people is that I knew that but I still thought I could beat Kelvin Gastelum. Not taking anything away from him. He caught me with a beautiful left hook that put me down. God bless him.”
After having had time to reflect, Bisping admitted that it was the wrong move to accept the Gastelum fight on such short notice. With that said, the outspoken Brit regrets nothing.
“That fight was me trying to exorcise some inner demons and try and get back in the win column ASAP,” Bisping continued. “As I said, it was a huge gamble and for many reasons it was the wrong move, but I don’t regret it. If you look at the grand scheme of things . . . I can see that it was the wrong move, but at the time it felt right, so I don’t regret it.
“After the GSP fight, when I agree to take the Kelvin Gastelum fight, I thought, ‘Well, I just had a week off but I was in great shape, so let’s get right back to it,’ and I sparred everyday for a week. That’s all I did for Kelvin, Southpaws, five rounds, for five days, and then I flew out to China, and I was just done. Emotionally, physically, mentally, I was just spent.”
Bisping, who is the only British champion in UFC history, believes his title run is over and the Lancastrian is now focused on ending his career on a high note.
“I’m totally fine with it. I’m 38 years old. I’ve got a wife and kids. I’ve got other things I want to focus on in life. Will I do one more fight? Yeah, probably. But that phase of my life now is done and I’m happy with that. . . You can’t fight forever. I was a champion, no one remains a champion forever, and I’m proud of that.”
Bisping is expected to have his retirement bout at the next UFC Fight Night London event on March 17, although no opponent has been officially announced.