Despite all the rumors swirling around Michael Bisping and his contemplating retirement versus fighting one more time, it appears that the former UFC middleweight champion is not going to fight at UFC Fight Night 127 in London as many had hoped.
Vitor Belfort, who is planning on retiring after his next UFC fight, the final bout on his current contract, tried and tried to goad Bisping into a dual-retirement bout at UFC London. Bisping absolutely refused to fight Belfort.
“He’s a known drug cheat. I don’t like the guy. I find him to be a hypocrite,” Bisping said when shooting down the idea of fighting Belfort. “It’s his last fight, he’s probably going to juice like crazy again anyway cause who gives a f–k? I failed, so what? Retired, gone, done.”
More recently, speculation put Bisping in the Octagon opposite former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans. It was a fight that Bisping was receptive to, particularly since Evans had recently been trying to rekindle his career as a middleweight.
The bout doesn’t appear to have materialized, though, as Bisping recently indicated that his impression was that Evans was making the move back to 205 pounds and he did not want to fight at light heavyweight.
“I believe he has officially gone back up to 205,” Bisping said on his most recent “Believe You Me” podcast. He went on to say, “I may or may not be fighting again,” leaving his fighting future in limbo. Bisping’s podcast guest, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier pressed him on it, however, leaving Bisping to say, “More than likely, I will be fighting again.”
Michael Bisping Leaves No Doubts About Fighting at UFC London
There is no doubt about London, however. Bisping has said that it is a dream scenario for him to fight his final bout in front of his fellow Brits in London, but it appears that scenario is not coming to fruition.
“Don’t buy tickets to see me fight in London,” he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “I’m not fighting. Just spoke with UFC.”
Don't buy tickets to see me fight in London. I'm not fighting. Just spoke with ufc.
— michael (@bisping) January 30, 2018
If Bisping decides to fight one more time, it certainly has to be disappointing to finalize the decision that it won’t be on the UFC London fight card in March.
“One doesn’t want to go out on the last fight (he lost via knockout to Kelvin Gastelum) being the lasting impression on my MMA career. Also, I feel I owe it to the U.K. fans because they were so supportive throughout my career and I always envisioned, in my mind, having that retirement fight in London and there it is. It’s on a plate. I just need to take it,” Bisping said last week.
“I like the fight (on offer). It’s not a case of the time or the opponent or anything like that. It’s either am I going to continue fighting or am I not? I promised my wife a long time ago that I was done fighting, promised a ton of people, but I still seem to be slogging on and doing it.”
So it’s not exactly clear where the disconnect is on Bisping not fighting in London. Bisping hinted at Evans perhaps wanting to fight at light heavyweight and him wanting to remain at middleweight, although that wasn’t crystal clear. But does it mean he is retiring? He wouldn’t fully commit to that, either.
For now, we’re still waiting for the final chapter of Bisping’s career to written.