The interim-middleweight champ broke down the one key weakness he saw in the performance of the returning-Georges St-Pierre last weekend.
Georges St-Pierre is back and as far as most of the MMA world are concerned, he looks better than ever. Of course, his obvious size and bulk managed to see him emerge as a slower and perhaps less-durable version of himself but when you consider the amount of time he took off, these creases seem like ones he could easily work on as he settles back into his role as champ.
For Michael Bisping, his defeat saw one of the most divisive and perhaps controversial title-reigns in recent memory come to an end but regardless of how you felt about his position atop the 185lb pile, the manner in which he conducted himself during the fight and directly afterwards left little doubt that he is deserving of his legendary status.
He’s a future hall-of-famer and a true professional in every sense of the word.
And while Bisping’s future is unclear, the majority of the speculation that arose from the UFC 217 main event came in the form of those wondering at exactly what the future holds for the champ GSP and his next move.
Everything from a super-fight with Conor McGregor to a long overdue and probably unwarranted showdown with Anderson Silva has been thrown around but in truth, the one fight that the fans expect more than any other is, of course, a title-unification bout with one Robert Whittaker, who holds the interim belt.
Whittaker, who recently accepted the nickname of ‘Bobby Knuckles’ after some pretty persistent poking, defeated Yoel Romero earlier this year to claim the interim-strap and in an interview with Austrailian news-site news.com.au, described one key weakness he noticed in the performance of the former welterweight champ.
“To be honest, he looked slower than he’s ever been. He’s just as crafty. You can see the intelligence is still there. His fight-IQ is still there and he obviously hits harder at middleweight.
“But I hit hard, and I hit fast and much harder and faster than Bisping. And I have much better defense than Bisping. So it looks good.”
And though many fighters – especially those holding interim-straps seem almost impatient when it comes to getting their shot at the undisputed belt, Whittaker, with the magnitude of the fight in mind, seems to be level-headed enough to realise that his patience will serve him in the long-run.
I can’t even put it into words. I was a massive fan of him when I was younger and when I was at welterweight, as well. Every welterweight in the world aspired to become something like him.
“If I got the privilege of fighting him? Man, dream come true. I’m happy to wait. Fighting a legend like that is worth the time. My wants have to go on the back seat a bit for him. He’s a living legend, and in respect I’ll do that. But if he’s going to hang around at middleweight we’ll touch gloves eventually. I’m confident.”
The man formerly known as ‘the Reaper’ has been slowly but surely carving out a loyal fan-base for himself and with thrilling wins over the likes of Yoel Romero, Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza and Derek Brunson in his back pocket, it’s not hard to imagine seeing him taking on the legendary Canadian before long.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena