Just two weeks ago, Michael Bisping was the UFC middleweight champion, set to defend his title against all-time great, Georges St-Pierre. St-Pierre ended up submitting Bisping with a third-round rear-naked choke to claim the 185-pound title. Now, Bisping is merely one week away from taking on another former welterweight-turned-middleweight contender, and this one could be an even tougher fight than his last one.
Bisping’s striking coach Jason Parillo recently spoke with the ESPN Five Rounds podcast about Bisping’s upcoming fight against ninth-ranked middleweight Kelvin Gastelum, calling Gastelum a “a bigger threat” than St-Pierre was to Bisping.
“Really, Kelvin is, in my opinion, on the feet, a tougher fight than Georges St-Pierre,” said Parillo. “It’s not like Mike’s a guy that shoots and wrestles all the time so obviously it’s gonna be a lot of stand up fighting and this guy’s a bigger threat than I think that even Georges was.”
St-Pierre was the long-time welterweight kingpin of the UFC who retired from the sport with his belt and was lured out after almost four years by the opportunity to take on Bisping for the middleweight strap. Bisping was extremely confident going into the bout and the loss “mentally wounded” him, causing the former champion to jump at the opportunity to get right back on the horse after Anderson Silva was pulled from his UFC Shanghai main event spot against Gastelum for failing a USADA drug test. Parillo says that while a super quick turn around like this could be a reckless move for most fighters, fighting less than a month apart is actually an advantage for Bisping because he’s already mentally focused.
“This guy’s got a different mind frame. Is it gonna hurt or help him? We’re gonna find out. . . You can look at it both ways. I’m looking that it’s a good thing that Michael wants to do. It’s something that he’s very happy about the decision that he made to do this, so we’ve got to ride that positive mind into this fight and hope for the best.”
Positive mind state or not, Bisping’s quick turnaround has been a point of discussion among some as the former title holder was dropped by a punch from St-Pierre and badly hurt before being choked unconscious. Taking a fight with a hard-hitting striker like Gastelum so soon after being knocked down could be cause for concern, especially if Gastelum is, as Parillo said, a bigger threat on the feet than St-Pierre. But ultimately, Parillo says that fighting anyone is a dangerous proposition and concerns or not, they’re going into UFC Shanghai to win.
“I’m concerned with everybody. If the guy’s got two arms and two legs and breathes, there’s a concern. You’ve got to try to look at the concern of it but you’ve also gotta support your athlete and go in there with a positive mind frame. I know Michael can beat Kelvin Gastelum. I know Michael could beat GSP. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that Michael would’ve started running away with it had we got to that fourth round.
“Mike is a world champion and he can fight any guy on the planet. Is there a question about how he’s gonna be mentally with how close this fight is? Sure, there could be. But I have a feeling Mike’s head is gonna be right in this fight and it’s something that he really wants to go out there and win and try to dust off his last loss. We’re going in. We’re gonna go in regardless of whether I have concerns or don’t have concerns. We’re gonna go in and we’re gonna go in there to win.”
Michael Bisping fights Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai on November 25.
Law. Colby Covington is pressing charges on Fabricio Werdum for boomerang attack.
Good. Stipe Miocic says his contract talks are going well, hopes to return early in 2018.
Sad. Jon Jones feels “sad” for former roommate Colby Covington.
Frustration. Cub Swanson is frustrated at being passed over for UFC 218 title fight.
TUF 27. The Ultimate Fighter 27 will feature only undefeated fighters.
The MMA Beat.
Holloway-Aldo 2 promo.
Highlights from last week’s Bellator.
Masvidal discussing Colby’s antics.
Tyron saying he accepted a fight with Nate.
Fights Gone By. Jack Slack discussing Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.
JRE MMA Show. The first ever Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show.
MMA Mad. Louis Smolka and Jimmie Rivera interviews.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Incredible. Local TV coverage of the boomerang incident doesn’t even mention that they’re fighters.
The Australian TV report on the Fabricio Werdum-Colby Covington boomerang attack is as amazing as you'd expect. pic.twitter.com/1wMDGfMo6Y— Josh Sánchez (@jnsanchez) November 16, 2017
Jon going in.
Yes because I've been using your name and interviews talking about some imaginary college two year relationship.— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017
Thank you so much brother, you just made me more famous— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017
At the end of the day brother, I feel sad for you. I couldn't imagine holding that type of animosity in my heart.— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017
I understand you're trying to get your followers up, there's nothing wrong with that.— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017
Your jealousy and hatred for me it's clear as day. The weird thing is, I'm not even sure what I did to you. I haven't seen you in like 11yrs— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017
Just wish you would smash some people in the octagon and become more recognize that way instead— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017
You're making a lot of enemies brother. All the best— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017
And tell your mom I said hello, it was great getting to know her that one semester we stayed together. She's really a great human being— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017
And have him turn around and go cry to the police, I'll pass https://t.co/ZZ75Q9RN64— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017
Bobby Knux being the most respectful guy.
Werdum gets another backer, a teammate of Colby’s.
Yesterday, while a flying triangle submission was being finished at Bellator 188, this is what the Twitter account was posting instead.
For those of you wondering, @mercedesterrell WILL be in Tel Aviv for #Bellator188! pic.twitter.com/elbrO4yYiF— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 16, 2017
I think you might be wrong there champ.
I think will be @HollyHolm— Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) November 16, 2017
Khabib keeping the dream alive.
November 17, 2017
Fight announcement coming soon it seems.
@danawhite if anyone in the light heavyweight category gets injured, I'll be glad to take over on short notice.— Matt Hamill (@hammer_hamill) November 16, 2017
Damn. Look at Khalil Rountree before he started training.
Got beat up, lumped up, put to sleep, and cut up know who did it need a little help. Who's in. ⚒ let me know. RT HH pic.twitter.com/VZAiOlr5JP— Mark Coleman (@HammerHouseMMA) November 16, 2017
Cris Cyborg (18-1, 1 NC) vs. Holly Holm (11-3); UFC 219, Dec. 30.
Another weekend, another Fight Night card but sadly, this is not the best one, at least on paper. These cards do often end up being very exciting though so maybe we’ll have that going for us.
Take it easy and see y’all Monday.
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