After this weekend’s victory over Eryk Anders at UFC Fight Night 125, former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida said he would be interested in fighting Michael Bisping in the Englishman’s retirement fight.
In response to being called out by Machida, Bisping addressed the potential fight on his “Believe You Me” podcast. “The Count” believes a fight with Machida would be a fitting end to his career and went on to talk about the respect he has for the Brazilian as a martial artist:
“I’ve no problem with the decision,” Bisping said. “What I do have a problem with is what Machida said afterwards. I’m only joking; I don’t really have a problem with it. He called me out, once again.
“He just said we were supposed to fight a couple of times over the years and that it hadn’t happened and that basically he had a lot of respect for me. And I have a lot of respect for Machida, I really do. As I said on Saturday, he’s one of the true, last martial arts specialist and one of the true martial artists that competes in the Octagon, so I have respect for him. Of course, there was the whole steroid issue, so I don’t want to rehash Saturday’s show, but there’s always going to be an asterisk over him.”
“The Rashad fight we spoke about and it didn’t materialize. The Machida fight is something as well that could potentially serve as my last fight. [It’s] very similar to Rashad in many ways: former champion, had a long career, getting to the final stages of his career, somebody that I haven’t fought and have a lot of respect for, that’s had a great career. So, it ticks all the boxes from that standpoint and that’s about it.”
Bisping, who holds the most wins in the UFC, publicly announced after his title fight with Georges St. Pierre that he would be hanging up his gloves shortly after a long and decorated career inside the Octagon. He was interested in signing to fight on the London card, where the UFC returns in March.
There were initial rumours that fight would be against former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, but that fell through.
“As of right now I’ve got to speak to the UFC and figure out what’s going on for myself so I’m not considering opponents or who they are. I’ve got to speak with Dana and the UFC guys and figure out what’s next and what’s happening in life” Bisping continued.
“God bless Machida. Thanks for the call out and we will see what the future holds.”