Michael Bisping took a big, bold step to fill in for Anderson Silva against Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai, China after “The Spider” was busted by United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) for the second time.
And though “The Count” saw the opportunity as win-win, it really wasn’t as he suffered a devastating first-round knockout loss to Gastelum after the former Welterweight decked “The Count” with a wicked one-two combo. Sure, Bisping got paid, but losing that way he didn’t look like a victory, at all.
For Gastelum, though, it was one of the biggest wins of his career against a former world champion. What that means for the former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winner is that he likely won’t be heading down to Welterweight anytime soon chasing a rematch against Tyron Woodley. After his win, Gastelum took to the mic to call for a title fight against interim champion Robert Whittaker.
But, as impressive as his win was, there is no rhyme or reason the promotion would book that fight. After all, Georges St-Pierre is still the champion, and despite being uncertain about his next move, he barely wont the strap three weeks ago.
What Gastelum will be chasing, though, is a big time fight against Luke Rockhold. And it’s actually the only thing that makes sense, rankings wise.
Anderson Silva currently has his own troubles to deal with on the USADA front. As for two other men ranked ahead of Kelvin, Ronaldo Souza and Derek Brunson, they are currently, sort of, negotiating a fight. But they need to get together to iron out the details.
As for Romero, there is no telling when he’s planning his comeback. Meanwhile, Robert Whittaker is keeping his fingers crossed and hoping Georges St-Pierre will finally make up his mind to unify the title sometime in 2018.
That leaves Rockhold as the only viable option.
Of course, it the bout is presented to him, It will be hard for UFC matchmakers to convince Luke to take it. That’s because the former 185-pound champion firmly has his eyes set on the big prize. And Kelvin is far from it. He’s close, but he isn’t there yet.
Still, I personally like this fight, and pitting Kelvin someone ranked lower than him simply doesn’t make sense. Furthermore, a win over Gastelum will look good on Luke’s resume and inch him closer to his goal of reclaiming his strap.
Of course, that’s just one man’s opinion, as the middleweight landscape could change drastically in the coming months, and fights that are supposed to be made could fall by the wayside, leaving Gastelum with other options to consider.
Care to throw out a couple?
To get full play-by-play results and updated form UFC Fight Night 122: “Gastelum vs Bisping” click here.