For Michael Bisping, the chance to step in and face a fellow top contender like Kelvin Gastelum was exactly what he needed.
Bisping will return to the Octagon just weeks after dropping the UFC middleweight title to Georges St-Pierre when he headlines UFC Fight Night 122 from Shanghai on November 25 vs. the former Ultimate Fighter winner.
Some have questioned the decision by “The Count,” but as he told FloCombat recently, it didn’t make any sense to not face Gastelum right away.
“I can’t see how I cannot take this fight,” Bisping said. “I’m serious because the homework is done. I’ve got no injuries, I like to fight and I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth from my last performance. That’s what’s bothering me. The UFC head of legal, Hunter Campbell, he was checking ‘Are you OK, are you OK?’ and physically I’m fine. Mentally, I’m very frustrated.
“This gives me a chance to exorcise my demons and get some decent mental space back. Physically, I’m totally fine. Mentally, I’m pissed off. So for me it’s almost a gift from the gods.”
Bisping also said the idea to return less than a month after his submission loss to GSP was all his idea, as he sent UFC president Dana White a message. Once the doctor cleared Bisping, the UFC was on board with the change.
“He was over the moon,” Bisping said. “He couldn’t believe it.”