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Morning Report: Michael Bisping admits fighting Kelvin Gastelum was 'the wrong move'

Michael Bisping
Michael Bisping at UFC 204 open workouts
Esther Lin/

Heading into his main event fight against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Shanghai, many people were questioning Michael Bisping’s decision to jump right back into action just three weeks after being choked out by Georges St-Pierre. Bisping’s own coach, Jason Parillo, even suggested that Gastelum was “a bigger threat” than Georges St-Pierre, but Bisping carried on anyway and was knocked out in the first round for his troubles. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, it seems Bisping sees why everyone thought it was a bad idea in the first place.

Speaking on his Believe You Me podcast, the former middleweight champion said that he thinks it was the wrong choice to have such a quick turnaround after a brutal loss and training camp.

“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, with 29 bouts in the organization, but the 21 day turnaround between his loss at UFC 217 and his loss at UFC Shanghai is the shortest of his career. The opportunity arose for Bisping 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. But Bisping says that didn’t work out well and that 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 and dropped him from all the way down to No. 7 in the rankings, 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 has maintained that he would like to finish out his career next year in his home country when the UFC returns to London for a Fight Night card on March 17.


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Exactly 43 years ago a princess was born. Her name was already pronounced sweet. PRISCILA VIEIRA BELFORT was born. Pri, wherever you are I really want this message to come to you. I hope in God's Eternity of all creation. You can have access to LOVE messages. In fact, our father had already said that love is greater than everything. And it is with this love that I come to congratulate you on your birthday. I promise that somehow I will celebrate this day as if you were by my side. Pri, my kids always ask you! They want to know every detail of your life. @davibelfort @vitoriabelfortoficial and @kyarabelfort it is logical that you could not forget your great friend @joanapradob who turned out to be your confidant ... rsrs Well ... we love you very, very much. And Pri just spoke to Mom and she promised that on this big day she will celebrate her birthday without staying at home. She told me she's going out and walking with a friend ... Daddy you know what it's like? LOL It's still the same ... That day especially we all wanted to be able to hug you and kiss you. I forgot to say; Dad returned to live in BH with our family. He is being very well taken care of there. All cousins ​​and aunts love you very much and say that they miss you a lot. All our cousins ​​have already become parents with beautiful children! You can not imagine every beautiful nephew we have !! Well I write this letter directly from Montreal in Canada, on January 14th I will do my last fight on @ufc. Pri, they have been fighting for 21 years and I confess that I can not wait to follow up on my second journey. In which all who participate will be winners. I and @joanapradob created @belfortfitnesslifestyle a new model of gyms and next year we started opening for franchises. We are very happy with the result. We have a huge list of interested people and our students have become a great family. I'm sure you would love our students, each with a wonderful story. Pri, right now I had to wipe away many tears from my face when I wrote this letter but I know that every tear is translated by God. Because only He understands that language. I Love you, my sister.

A post shared by Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort (@vitorbelfort) on






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Wow. 68% of you think Floyd carried Conor in their boxing match. Not saying I disagree but considering all the Conor love that goes around, especially here, I definitely shocked with those numbers.

Anyway, take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.



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