Michael Bisping Confident He Could Beat GSP in a Rematch But He’s No Longer in the Title Race
It’s been two weeks since Michael Bisping lost the UFC middleweight title to Georges St-Pierre but he still hasn’t watched the fight.
It was a tough defeat for Bisping after he won the second round and appeared to have St-Pierre on the ropes as the former welterweight champion appeared to slow down with his conditioning beginning to fade after a fast start.
Unfortunately, Bisping ducked the wrong way on a counter punch and St-Pierre blasted him with a left hand before finishing the fight a few seconds later on the ground with a rear naked choke.
While Bisping really has no desire to go back and relive the moment where St-Pierre caught him with the punch that ended the fight, he bears no ill will towards his last opponent.
Of course, Bisping knows deep down inside that if he ever got the opportunity to step back inside the Octagon with St-Pierre that he would win, but that doesn’t mean he’s trying to call out the new middleweight champion for a rematch.
“Of course, I’m going to say I think I could beat him in a rematch but I really do,” Bisping said in an exclusive interview. “I was just starting to settle down but he caught me with a shot and he finished me. Good for him, God bless him. It just makes me mad when I think about it. I felt good. He was super tired, he was exhausted, I did a good job cutting him up and I could get back to my feet whenever I wanted. I think I over stressed the wrestling aspect. The game plan in the first round as I was moving away, that was the plan to just be elusive in the first round. Looking back in hindsight, I shouldn’t have worried about that too much.
“It is what it is. I felt good, I felt great, I got up whenever I wanted. I landed some good shots. I had him wobbled and I had him hurt but he hit me with that big left hook in the scramble and that was that. He followed up really well. Georges is a great fighter and good for him.”
Just days after suffering the loss to St-Pierre, Bisping was stewing in the funk of the defeat when the opportunity came to replace Anderson Silva in an upcoming fight against Kelvin Gastelum this weekend in China.
It might have seemed crazy for Bisping to accept a new fight just two weeks after falling to St-Pierre, but he didn’t earn his place in the sport by refusing to take chances.
For all the grief Bisping receives for not facing certain opponents, he’s proud to say he’s never turned down a fight the UFC offered him and this time around he was more than happy to offer to face Gastelum on extremely short notice.
“I’m taking this for a bit of fun for me,” Bisping said. “I’m not doing this cause I’ve got to. I’m not stressed out with the training camp cause that’s done. I’m doing this because I want to take the fight. Because I’m not happy with the way [the Georges St-Pierre fight] went. It pissed me off. So I’m like here we go.
“I’ve got an opportunity to get back in the win column. And if I don’t win, at least I’m not losing a title this time and I get paid again.”
Bisping stepping up on short notice to face Gastelum feels eerily familiar to the time he won the UFC middleweight title after accepting a fight against former champion Luke Rockhold with less than two weeks to prepare.
The end result was Bisping knocking out Rockhold in the first round to become champion.
A win over Gastelum could hypothetically put Bisping back on track to challenge for the belt again but he’s honest enough to admit that pursing the championship is a thing of the past for him.
Bisping is committed to fighting this weekend and then pursuing a bout in March when the UFC returns to his native England. Bisping hopes that will serve as his retirement fight and then he can ride off into the sunset feeling like he did everything he set out to do in the sport.
“I’ll be honest, I would love to try for the title again but I think that ship’s sailed,” Bisping said. “I think from a mental space I have to be realistic and let that go. Listen, I was world champion, defended it, titles change hands all the time, that’s not something that’s going to last forever. I had it, I’m proud of it. That’s awesome. That’s great.
“Now I’m close to retirement. I’ll probably have one last fight, probably in March, I’d love for my last fight to be in England. You never say never, but right now that’s the plan.”