Michael Bisping Admits Taking Fight with Kelvin Gastelum Was a ‘Big Gamble’ That ‘Didn’t Pay Off’

Michael Bisping reflects on his first round knockout loss to Kelvin Gastelum

Michael Bisping doesn’t regreat taking a fight with Kelvin Gastelum just three weeks after his loss to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 but he can also admit that ultimately it wasn’t the smartest idea either.

Bisping ultimately suffered a brutal first round knockout to Gastelum after taking the fight in Shanghai, China after he was defeated by submission by St-Pierre in the bout that cost him the UFC middleweight title.

More than anything, Bisping just wanted to wash the bad taste of defeat out of his mouth by taking the fight with Gastelum on short notice but admittedly his plan backfired.

“It didn’t go my way as everybody saw. I felt great going into that fight, I did. Looking back in hindsight, was I over trained 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 and I knew that but still thought I could beat Kelvin Gastelum. Not taking anything away from him. Caught me with a beautiful left, put me down, god bless him,” Bisping said on his “Believe You Me” podcast this week.

“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. On the best man, I guess that was Kelvin and well done to him.”

Bisping is honest enough looking back that taking the fight was never a good idea, especially considering how hard he trained for the matchup with St-Pierre.

The former champion put in a three month camp that took a physical and emotional toll on him by the time he fought at UFC 217 and then turning around to compete again three weeks later was just poor judgment.

“That fight was me trying to exorcise some inner demons and trying to get back in the win column ASAP,” Bisping explained. “As I say, it was a huge gamble and for many reasons it was the wrong move.

“I don’t regret it, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying physically looking back from, if you look at the grand scheme of things, if I could take myself out of the situation, which I can now and not look at it emotionally, I could see that it was the wrong move but at the time it felt right. I don’t regret it.”

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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.