Bisping: Gastelum Fight Was A Mistake
Speaking on his Believe You Me podcast, former middleweight champion, Michael Bisping said it was the wrong choice to fight Kelvin Gastelum less than a month after losing to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217
“It didn’t go my way, as everybody knows and saw,” said Bisping. “
“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.”
“It was a big gamble, it didn’t pay off. Had it paid off it would have been great but that’s what you do. You roll the dice, you give it a shot, and you hope for the best, and the best man, I guess that was Kelvin so well done to him.”
Bisping is the most active fighter in UFC history, as he’s had 29 bouts in the organization.. Yet, the 21 day turnaround between his loss at UFC 217 and his loss at UFC Shanghai is the shortest of his career. The opportunity came when Anderson Silva was pulled from the fight with Gastelum over a failed USADA test and at the time, Bisping reasoned that he was still in good shape from his failed title defense. Bisping says the plan didn’t work and he was actually too worn down from his months of preparation for St-Pierre.
“That fight was me trying to exorcise some inner demons and try and get back in the win column ASAP.,” Bisping explained.
“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.”
The loss to Gastelum gave Bisping the first losing streak of his career, but unlike the St-Pierre fight, Bisping says this one doesn’t bother him because he’s at peace with his career.
“I’m not looking to become champion again, I’m looking to finish off my career with a couple of fun fights. I went out there, I didn’t get the job done. I couldn’t give a f**k about rankings. I’m not trying to be the champion again. I had that, that was fun, it was a nice time in my life, I can always claim to have had that title, and now it’s time to move on with my life.
“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 made it known that he’d want to finish out his career next year in his home country when the UFC returns to London for a Fight Night card on March 17th.