Sometimes, promoters and regulations are in place to protect fighters from themselves. Sometimes, that fails to happen.
A recent example of the system’s failure is Michael Bisping being allowed to fight Kelvin Gastelum in China just three weeks after being finished inside of three rounds by Georges St-Pierre in New York.
Yes, Bisping made the choice to fight. Yes, he cleared medical requirements. And yes, the New York State Athletic Commission approved releasing him early from his 30-day medical suspension.
Gastelum knocked Bisping out 2:30 into their fight.
While Bisping blames no one else for the loss or for allowing him to fight, he now admits that his ego got the better of him.
“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 (expletive) huge ego and thinking you can still beat people is that I knew that, but I still thought I could beat Kelvin Gastelum,” Bisping said on his “Believe You Me” podcast.
“That fight was me trying to exorcise some inner demons and try and get back in the win column ASAP. 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.
“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.”
While Bisping has closed the curtain most of the way on his career, he doesn’t want to walk away off the first back-to-back losses of his career.
“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.”
A return to the Octagon in London in March has been talked about, though it’s not yet clear if that is going to come to fruition. It normally wouldn’t be that quick of a turn around, but after Bisping having fought twice in three weeks, he might need a little more time.
But it doesn’t sound as if he’ll give up on his one last fight and walk away after having lost to Gastelum.
“I’ve had a great career. I’ve had many records. I’m happy with what I achieved. But like I said, I’ll probably do one more fight.”