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Morning Report: Michael Bisping responds to comparisons between his and Germaine de Randamie’s title situations

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UFC 186 Media Day Photos
Michael Bisping

Germaine de Randamie won the UFC women’s featherweight title at UFC 208, becoming the inaugural champion after taking a controversial decision over former bantamweight title holder, Holly Holm. But after winning the belt, de Randamie refused to face No. 1 contender Cris Cyborg, stating that Cyborg “is a known and proven cheater.” That decision came back upon her on Monday when the UFC officially stripped de Randamie of her title.

The UFC’s statement on the stripping declared that “UFC maintains that any champion is expected to accept fights against the top contenders in their respective weight classes in order to maintain the integrity of the sport,” and some fans were quick to argue that those parameters haven’t been met by UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping. Since winning the middleweight title a year ago, Bisping has only had one defense, against the fourteenth-ranked Dan Henderson at UFC 204. He was nominally supposed to face No. 1 contender Yoel Romero for his next title defense but was instead given a fight against the unranked Georges St-Pierre. That fight was (potentially) taken off the table due to injuries by both parties and an interim title bout between Romero and Robert Whittaker is set for UFC 213. But despite the interim belt, Bisping has made it clear that when he returns he still wants to face St-Pierre, which has fueled the fire among some fans and fighters that he should be stripped of the belt.

On the latest episode of his Believe You Me Podcast, Bisping addressed the de Randamie title situation, how it parallels his own, and why he believes the two are completely different.

“I’ve got to be careful about what I say here because I know everybody’s gonna talk s**t about me and say, ‘You’re a f**king p**sy. You f**king defended against Dan Henderson. You’re avoiding number one contenders.’ That is not what’s happened, motherf**kers. The UFC offered me Dan Henderson, I took the fight and then I had knee surgery. Two knee surgeries in fact.

“The thing about Germaine that always irked me from the very start is even when she beat Holly Holm and won the belt, she immediately said in the ring - because Rogan tried to set up a fight with her and Cyborg - she said, ‘No, no I can’t do it. I have to have hand surgery.’ Immediately after winning the fight she was in the ring, talking to Rogan, ducking the number one contender saying she needs hand surgery. Then, in the post-fight press conference, she’s saying, ‘I think I should rematch with Holly because it was really close.’ So which is it, do you need hand surgery or not?”

Bisping also notes another key difference between their situations; the fact that de Randamie’s title was widely believed to be intended for Cyborg in the first place. Cyborg has been arguably the most dominant female fighter in the world ever and she’s been the unquestioned queen of the women’s featherweight division for almost a decade. The creation of a UFC featherweight title was seen as a coronation for her but a suspension by USADA and the UFC’s desperate need for main event worthy fights created a situation where the inaugural featherweight title bout wouldn’t actually include the greatest featherweight of all time. Thus, according to Bisping, de Randamie refusing to face Cyborg is anathema to the entire purpose of the division because the winner of Holm-de Randamie was always intended to fight Cyborg.

“It’s a no-brainer. The division - I believe, I mean I don’t have this on confirmation - looks like it was created for Cyborg.”

And Bisping has a point. While an unlikely champion, he did still win the belt by knocking out the best middleweight on the planet at the time. Furthermore, Bisping has never refused a fight with Romero outright as de Randamie did with Cyborg. That being said, Romero’s existence at the top of the rankings for essentially the entire duration of Bisping’s title reign with Bisping still yet to face him, draws some parallels which Bisping can see, even if he doesn’t agree with them.

“I know people are gonna talk shit because it seems from the outside that I’m f**king avoiding Yoel, which isn’t the case at all. I had two knee surgeries, I’m back training now but I still couldn’t do a training camp. But I do see the parallels that people will draw on and call me a f**king hypocrite.”

Michael Bisping is currently rehabbing a knee injury and is expected to return to the cage later this year to defend his middleweight title.


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I bet we get an “it’s allllllllllllll over” too.

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No one.


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As a general rule, I don’t believe fighters duck other fighters but this GDR situation is very hard to look at it any other way. At a minimum, the optics are atrociously bad. Not that I’m complaining. Megan Anderson should make this a fun fight.

Anyway, that’s it for today. Take it easy y’all and Conor bless.

If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy it.

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