The recently-dethroned UFC middleweight champion managed to earn himself the praises of the masses by opting to save UFC Shanghai’s main event.
One week has passed since the sheer lunacy of what transpired inside the Madison Square Garden octagon at UFC 217 and though there has been plenty of MMA for the fans to sink their teeth into the time since, the ripple effects of what was one of sport’s most memorable nights are still being felt at their strongest.
The biggest headline-grabber on the night was, of course, the return of Georges St-Pierre after a near-four year layoff. His self-imposed hiatus came to a stunning conclusion when he stepped in to face the middleweight champion Michael Bisping in the card’s main event and though GSP’s victory saw him leave MSG on top of the world, the dethroned 185lb strap-holder Michael Bisping earned himself a legion of new fans with his gutsy display.
Just seven short days had passed since one of the most divisive and controversial title-reigns in UFC history came to an end but when the news broke that the former-champ Anderson Silva had been flagged by USADA and would no longer fight in this month’s UFC Shanghai main-event against Kelvin Gastelum, the world was collectively shocked at who stepped in to save the night’s premier attraction.
Anderson Silva is one of the game’s biggest and most recognizable names and for him to be withdrawn from such a huge show in Asia would have been a disaster if a marquee-level fighter like Bisping didn’t swoop in and put himself into a line of fire once again for a contest that will fall less than a month out from his third-round submission loss at UFC 217.
Bisping, who has flirted with the idea of retirement in recent times, managed to earn the praises of the masses through this act of raw warrior-esque spirit and naturally, the MMA community collectively voiced their approval at the Count’s commitment to the fight game.
Michael bisping is an absolute fucking gangster… 😎
— Darren Bisping (@darrentill2) November 12, 2017
— Gökhan Saki (@gokhantherebel) November 12, 2017
Big props to @bisping for stepping in to to save the show 💪🏻🙌🏻
— Brad Pickett (@One_Punch) November 12, 2017
Yes I think so. With the strict medicals etc around the UFC, his body is deemed fit. Therefore I think it's incredible to accept another tough challenge after a heartbreaking loss. Some fighters would (justifiably) sit out and wait for the most favourable option. Not @bisping
— John Gooden (@JohnGoodenUK) November 12, 2017
This is such a gangster move from Bisping after just losing the title. Got to respect what he brings to the table. https://t.co/bKhSs3Hk1T
— Peter Carroll (@PetesyCarroll) November 12, 2017
— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) November 12, 2017
— bjpenndotcom (@bjpenndotcom) November 12, 2017
Get that money Bisping!! https://t.co/GLKizxoIAI
— James Vick (@JamesVickMMA) November 12, 2017
Much respect 👊🏾💥👊🏾💥
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) November 12, 2017
Even actor and pro-wrestling legend Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson got involved.
“I feel like I can go again right now”.. Gracious in defeat and exctly 7 days later @bisping takes the next @ufc main event fight against Gastelum. Love his f*cking attitude. Blood, sweat, respect. https://t.co/NvREXeTvCK
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) November 12, 2017
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena