Dana White Has No Regrets Allowing Michael Bisping to Fight Three Weeks After Loss to GSP

Dana White explains why Michael Bisping was allowed to fight Kelvin Gastelum in China

Hindsight is always 20/20 but UFC president Dana White doesn’t feel any need to express regret about allowing Michael Bisping to fight Kelvin Gastelum on short notice after he fell to defeat to Georges St-Pierre just three weeks earlier.

The end result of the fight with Gastelum was Bisping suffering a devastating first round knockout in China.

White explained on Tuesday that Bisping asked for the fight with Gastelum after he heard that former middleweight champion Anderson Silva had been pulled from the card following a potential doping violation from USADA.

At the time, Bisping was just days removed from a third round submission loss to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 that cost him the middleweight title and it left him with bad taste in his mouth that he was desperate to wash out.

“He wanted it. Bisping wanted to take it,” White said about how the fight with Gastelum came together. “Bisping wanted that fight. Again, another stud that always wants to fight and will fight anybody. He called me and said ‘I want this fight’.”

As much as Bisping wanted the fight, he was issued a 30-day medical suspension from the New York State Athletic Commission but White says the UFC took all the proper precautions to clear him before allowing the matchup with Gastelum to move forward.

“So what happened was he called me and said ‘I want the fight’. I said ‘how are you feeling?’ and he said ‘I feel great, I’m ready to go’. I said let me look into it,” White said. “I told him you’re going to have to go through all the medical testing again and you know him ‘f–k that I just did it’ and I said I don’t give a s–t. We’re going to go through the medical testing again and the doctors are going to tell you whether or not you’re OK.

“Once it came back that the doctors had cleared him to fight again, we sent the stuff to New York to show them and New York let him off the suspension.”

As disappointing as it was that Bisping ultimately suffered the knockout loss, White just chalks that up to part of the sport and doesn’t believe that the former champion shouldn’t have been allowed to fight because he suffered another defeat just a few weeks earlier.

“Back in the old days, guys used to fight every week,” White said. “Those guys would fight Saturday and then fight next Saturday in another town. Not saying that’s the best thing in the world for you, but it can be done and the difference between then and now is we’re actually medically testing these guys to make sure that they’re OK.

“It’s as safe as it could possibly be.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.