Michael Bisping has probably been called out more during his career than just about any other athlete on the roster so hearing his named mentioned by a potential opponent after a fight is nothing new.
Last Saturday night following a win over Eryk Anders by split decision it was Lyoto Machida who name dropped Bisping as a fighter he’d like to face next and now the former middleweight champion has responded.
Bisping has said repeatedly that he may come back for one more fight before calling it a career but there’s also a chance he just opts for retirement now. Bisping was recently in talks for a potential matchup against Rashad Evans at the UFC Fight Night card in London but ultimately the bout didn’t come together.
Is Machida the fight that would get Bisping excited for one more walk to the Octagon?
“I have a lot of respect for Machida, I really do. Machida, as I said on Saturday, he’s one of the true last martial arts specialists and a real martial artist that competes in the Octagon. So I have respect for him,” Bisping said on his “Believe You Me” podcast. “Of course there was the whole steroid issue and I don’t want to rehash Saturday’s show but there’s always going to be an asterisk over him. Machida, nice guy, good guy
“The Rashad [Evans] fight we spoke about and didn’t materialize and the Machida fight is something as well that could potentially serve as a last fight. Very similar to Rashad in many ways. Former champion, had a long career, getting into the final stages of his career, somebody that I haven’t fought, that I have a lot of respect for, that’s had a great career. It ticks all the boxes from that stand point and that’s about it.”
That being said, Bisping isn’t ready to commit to any opponent right now because from the sound of things, he’s still contemplating his future in the UFC.
Returning for one more fight in London seemed like the perfect exit strategy for Bisping but now that’s not happening.
Instead, Bisping insists that he has to sit down and talk to UFC president Dana White to decide what comes next for him and whether or not that means a fight with Machida or just calling it a career remains to be seen.
“As of right now, I’ve got to speak to the UFC and figure out what’s going on myself,” Bisping said. “I’m not considering opponents and who they are. I’ve got to speak to Dana [White] and the UFC guys and figure out what’s next and what’s happening in life. So god bless Machida, thank you for the call out, and we’ll see what the future holds.”