Cage Rage Strips Bisping of British Title

By Pedro Wrobel Sep 23, 2005
LONDON, Sept. 23 — Cage Rage announced today that it was stripping Michael Bisping (Pictures) of the Cage Rage British light heavyweight title he took from Mark Epstein (Pictures) at Cage Rage 7.

“The Count” Bisping went on to defend the title in a rematch with Epstein at Cage Rage 9, and he was due to fight Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos at Cage Rage 13 before pulling out due to the same "management issues" that were behind today's events.

The CageWarriors promotion were quick to take issue with the decision, and issued a press release this morning, in which they sympathized with Bisping's situation and noted that "although Cage Rage has stated on their website that Bisping has been stripped of his title due to ‘management’ issues, we feel this does not reflect the full story as Bisping was willing to defend his title but is being punished by Cage Rage due to his Wolfslair/Cagewarriors links."

Cage Rage co-promoter Dave O'Donnell spoke to Sherdog.com and noted that the situation had "nothing to do with Michael Bisping (Pictures) and definitely nothing to do with CageWarriors." O'Donnell noted that a problem had arisen between Cage Rage and the Wolfslair Gym, which manage Bisping.

Having had a number of problems with the Wolfslair, Cage Rage no longer feels that it can work with the gym and hence took the decision to strip Bisping of the belt. "After all," O'Donnell said, "a champion needs to defend his title.”

Bisping himself was reflective, insisting that he has no bad feelings towards Cage Rage. "I understand that the issue is between Cage Rage and my management, so there's very little that I can do. All I can say is thank you to them for treating me so well on the shows that I had the privilege to fight on. I wish them all the best and I hope that we can still do business in the future. For now, I'm concentrating on my fight next weekend at CageWarriors: Strike Force, when I'll be defending my CW title against Jakob Lovstad. Beating him up might be a good way to get over this disappointment!"
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