Yoel Romero was not surprised with many of the outcomes from the UFC middleweight title fight between Georges St-Pierre vs. Michael Bisping, but he was surprised by one thing.
Just days after Bisping lost his belt to St-Pierre at UFC 217 in New York City, in a fight where Bisping was dropped and choked unconscious, MMA Fighting reported that Bisping would replace Anderson Silva and take on rising contender Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai that same month in November.
The Englishman had received a 30-day medical suspension by the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) following UFC 217. The suspension technically wouldn’t have allowed Bisping to compete in Shanghai, but upon review, doctors deemed Bisping fit to compete and they reduced his suspension, allowing him to fight for a second time in the same month.
Bisping ended up suffering a first-round knockout against Gastelum, 21 days after falling to GSP.
Like many, Romero thinks it’s “crazy” the fight between Bisping and Gastelum actually went down, and questions the NYSAC’s decision for allowing Bisping to fight so soon after having taken plenty of damage in the St-Pierre bout.
“You know, that was the big surprise,” Romero told Ariel Helwani in a recent episode of The MMA Hour. “Why? It’s so crazy, it doesn’t make sense. I don’t know how the athletic commission said yes and accepted that he’d fight. It’s so crazy, it’s so crazy.”
But the NYSAC were not the only ones that allowed the fight to happen. The UFC was also involved in the decision, as the promotion acts as its own regulatory body in countries that don’t have athletic commissions, such as China.
Romero doesn’t know how the UFC and the people surrounding Bisping were OK with having him fight Gastelum, even with the green light from the NYSAC.
“I don’t know how the family, the relatives of Michael Bisping allowed him to fight,” Romero explained. “I don’t know why the team, the coaches said, ‘OK, take the fight.’
“I don’t know why Michael Bisping took the fight. I don’t know why the UFC said yes. This is very dangerous, it’s not just a fight, it’s very dangerous. Normally, he needed rest for like 16 to 19 days, you know. But he’s sleeping, he didn’t tap out, he went to sleep (in the St-Pierre bout). When that happens in a fight, like a choke or knockout, you need a rest, like a minimum of 16 days.”
The Cuban fighter believes the lack of rest in between the fights was a reason why Bisping was knocked out by Gastelum.
“I said, ‘OK, the first time with Gastelum, like a jab or something in the face, he (Bisping) was going to go out because he didn’t go through the [recuperation] and the rest that he needed.”