Count-Down to Michael Bisping’s Retirement
Who is next for Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping?
Some love him, Some hate him, but all respect him. Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC) is one of the most highly-decorated fighters in the game today. The 38-year-old has beaten the likes of Anderson Silva, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson and captured the UFC Middleweight Championship belt at the ripe age of 37. Bisping is also tied with a record 20 wins in the UFC.
Bisping’s next fight would be against another all-time great, Georges St-Pierre. St-Pierre came out of retirement after four years and moved up a weight class for the fight. The fight would end up with St-Pierre beating Bisping by rear-naked-choke in the third round at UFC 217. Bisping surprised many after his loss to GSP by not retiring even though he had been beaten by a smaller fighter.
Michael would agree just three weeks later to take on Kelvin Gastelum. Gastelum was obviously the fresher and faster fighter. This was exhibited in the fight as Bisping was caught by a two-punch combination and knocked out by Gastelum in the first round. Always managing to be a sportsman and an entertainer, Bisping stated in his post-fight interview, “you know, Kelvin is a great guy but unfortunately it’s going to take a bigger pile of shit than him to get rid of me.” “The Count” says he is looking to fight one last time in London next March, let’s analyze which “pile” he should take on to say farewell.
The Most Dangerous Match-up: Yoel Romero
Yoel Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) originally called out Michael Bisping after his spectacular flying knee knockout of Chris Weidman at UFC 205. Things have done just been heating up ever since. Bisping even had the nerve to tear up a mock Cuban flag while Romero was fighting. The 40-year-old is also a top ranked middleweight coming off of a loss to the current UFC Middleweight Champion, Robert Whitaker. With his olympic-level wrestling and dynamic striking, this is without a doubt the most dangerous fight Bisping could take. However, this matchup could get interesting if Romero is dragged into the later rounds as his cardio is not the best. Bisping on the other hand has one of the greatest gas tanks in UFC history.
The Sensible Match-up: Lyoto Machida
Lyoto Machida (22-8 MMA, 14-8 UFC) is 39-years-old and has been finished in all three of his last fights. Machida is backed into a corner and needs a win to keep relevancy in the UFC. This fight would be a match up for the ages. Two of the most iconic, veteran, former champs battling it out for the highest of stakes as Bisping looks to go out on a win. Styles make matchups and with Machida’s quick, unorthodox, karate style it is sure to be a very exciting fight.
The Wildcard Match-up: Jorge Masvidal
Jorge Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC), might be a surprise to see on this list for Michael Bisping’s retirement fight, but I assure you if this matchup is made it will be a fight for the ages. Even though Masvidal is currently a top-ranked welterweight, he is big for the division and has excellent stand-up. Although Masvidal is a welterweight, he is still a good matchup for Bisping. The two fighters also seem to have legitimate beef between each other. What better way to squash their beef than in the cage!
— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) November 3, 2017
Personally, I believe the best retirement fight for Michael Bisping is Lyoto Machida. Both Yoel Romero and Jorge Masvidal are very much in the mix for title contention. Bisping has slipped out of the Top five altogether and is completely out of the belt conversation. I’d hate to see Bisping suffer another stoppage or take an incredible amount of damage, especially this late in his career. With Vitor Belfort and Uriah Hall fighting in January, the other reasonable matchup would be Krzysztof Jotko or David Branch. Maybe even the up-and-coming former Alabama football player Eryk Anders could be a decent match up for The Count?