Only two weeks ago, Michael Bisping was defending the UFC middleweight title against former UFC welterweight champion and all-time great, Georges St-Pierre, at UFC 217.
As seen in the fight, St-Pierre ended up submitting Bisping with a third-round rear-naked choke to win the middleweight title that earned him the right to call himself a two-division champion.
Bisping is merely one week away from his next fight when he takes on ninth-ranked middleweight Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 122 in the main event.
Some people including Bisping’s striking coach Jason Parillo believe that this could be a tougher fight than against GSP for Bisping.
“Really, Kelvin is, in my opinion, on the feet, a tougher fight than Georges St-Pierre,” said Parillo. “It’s not like Mike’s a guy that shoots and wrestles all the time so obviously it’s gonna be a lot of stand up fighting, and this guy’s a bigger threat than I think that even Georges was.”
Make no mistake about it, GSP is an MMA Legend and the long-time welterweight kingpin of the UFC. However, he decided to take some time off from competition and retired from the sport as the reigning champion. After being out of action for almost four years, he decided to come back and fight Bisping.
Parillo stated that while a quick turn around like this could be a reckless move for most fighters, Bisping is different and already mentally focused.
“This guy’s got a different mind frame. Is it gonna hurt or help him? We’re gonna find out. . . You can look at it both ways. I’m looking that it’s a good thing that Michael wants to do. It’s something that he’s very happy about the decision that he made to do this, so we’ve got to ride that positive mind into this fight and hope for the best.”
“I’m concerned with everybody. If the guy’s got two arms and two legs and breathes, there’s a concern. You’ve got to try to look at the concern of it, but you’ve also gotta support your athlete and go in there with a positive mind frame. I know Michael can beat Kelvin Gastelum. I know Michael could beat GSP. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that Michael would’ve started running away with it had we got to that fourth round.
“Mike is a world champion, and he can fight any guy on the planet. Is there a question about how he’s gonna be mentally with how close this fight is? Sure, there could be. But I have a feeling Mike’s head is gonna be right in this fight, and it’s something that he really wants to go out there and win and try to dust off his last loss. We’re going in. We’re gonna go in regardless of whether I have concerns or don’t have concerns. We’re gonna go in and we’re gonna go in there to win.”