The plans for another UFC event have taken an interesting, yet unexpected, turn.
UFC Fight Night 122 is set to take place on November 25th in Shanghai, China. The main event was originally scheduled to be Anderson Silva vs. Kelvin Gastelum. However, it’s been announced that Silva has failed an out-of-competition drug test taken in late October.
Soon after that announcement, Michael Bisping, fresh off of his UFC 217 middleweight title loss against George St-Pierre, texted Dana White asking to be Silva’s replacement. White responded with, “interesting” and asked “The Count” to see if he could get medically cleared to fight.
Well, Bisping passed the medical tests and has officially been announced as the replacement for the UFC Shanghai main event. Having just fought on November 4th, this is an incredible turnaround for the ex-champ. Bisping suffered a few tough shots at the end of that fight before he was submitted via a rear-naked choke.
Though, if anyone can bounce back in three weeks for another fight, it’s Michael Bisping. On the Anik and Florian podcast, Bisping stated that he just wanted to overcome his UFC 217 loss by immediately getting back out there with a win. He also added that two paychecks from one great training camp is a very profitable opportunity.
When I first heard of this matchup in Shanghai, I immediately thought that it would be Bisping’s retirement fight. This is definitely not the case as Bisping made clear that he has more fight left in him. His tentative plan is to fight Gastelum in Shanghai and then schedule his retirement fight for March 2018 in England.
For Gastelum’s part, he has been presented with a great opportunity. Fighting a recently defeated champion is certainly a step-up for the young fighter. Coming off of a 3rd round submission loss (via arm-triangle choke) against Chris Weidman, Gastelum is looking to get back on the winning track and a step closer to the middleweight title.
Here’s the tentative main card for UFC Shaghai:
UFC Shanghai: Main Card
Michael Bisping vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Li Jingliang vs. Zak Ottow
Wang Guan vs. Alex Caceres
Muslim Salikhov vs. Alex Garcia
Catch UFC Shanghai on Fight Pass on November 25th, it should be an entertaining match-up!