Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC Fight Night 122 blew the roof off Mercedes Benz Arena last weekend (Sat., Nov. 25, 2017) in Shanghai, China.
Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Zak Ottow, who was knocked out in the very first round by Li Jingliang (recap). And Muslim Salikhov, who was choked out by Alex Garcia in the second stanza via rear-naked choke.
But which fighter is suffering from the word post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?
“The Count” did the promotion a solid by stepping in on just three weeks notice to face Kelvin Gastelum in the headlining act after Anderson Silva was forced out of the event due to a potential United States Anti-Doping (USADA) violation. And it came on the heels of getting slept by Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 in New York City, all while coughing up his 185-pound strap.
Bisping saw the chance to “exorcise his demons” against Gastelum as a win-win situation but in the end, “The Count” was knocked out cold by the former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winner in the very first round (video replay here). Unfortunately for the brash Brit, that’s now two straight defeats in less than a month after sitting on top of the middleweight mountain for over a year.
Still, give credit where credit is due, as not to many fighters — especially world champions — would be so eager to step in against a dangerous foe just a couple of days after losing the gold. In fact, many weren’t too thrilled that the promotion, as well as the Chinese Athletic commission, allowed “The Count” to fight.
Despite his second straight loss, Bisping won’t be retiring just yet, as he has plans to fight at least once more, perhaps at the upcoming Fight Night event in London England on March 17, 2018.
“I was enjoying myself,” Bisping said during his post-fight speech. “He caught me with a good shot. God bless Kelvin. He’s young. I’ve done this for a long time. I’m getting old,” he added. “You know Kelvin is a great guy,” Bisping added when asked if he has one more fight left in him. “But unfortunately it’s going to take a bigger pile of sh*t than him to get rid of me.”
As for who his retirement fight will be, that’s a tough one to call, as the promotion will likely try to find an intriguing farewell bout for “The Count,” as he’s done so much for the promotion throughout his 11-year-long tenure with the fight company.
If I had to take a guess, I’d venture to say UFC will give him someone like Lyoto Machida. “The Dragon” is a former world champion, a seasoned veteran and one of the most experienced and skilled fighters in the weight class.
Sure, “The Dragon” has seen better days, as he has dropped three straight. Still, it’s an intriguing matchup on many fronts and a win for either man would be big. Anyway, that’s just one fan’s guess.