UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Gastelum Preview
A preview of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card, set to take place in Shanghai.
Updated: Nov. 22, 2017 • 8:19 PM ET
Michael Bisping has already fought once in November before his fight on Saturday.
For the first time in history, the UFC will hold an event in mainland China, as the company heads to Shanghai to host UFC Fight Night. The main event will feature a middleweight fight between former champion and No. 2 ranked Michael Bisping, and No. 9 Kelvin Gastelum.
A middleweight bout between Gastelum and former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva was expected to serve as the main event on Saturday. The two fighters were previously scheduled to meet in June at UFC 212, but Gastelum was pulled from the bout after testing positive for Carboxy-THC, which is a metabolite of marijuana and/or hashish above the 150 ng/mL limit instituted by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Roughly two weeks before this Saturday’s event, USADA notified Silva that he had failed an out-of-
competition drug test, stemming from a sample collected on Oct. 26. As a result, he was pulled from the card. A day later, Bisping (31-8) replaced Silva as Gastelum’s latest opponent.
Heading into the fight with Gastelum, Bisping will only be 21 days removed from his submission loss to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217. He was given a 30-day medical suspension by the NYSAC after the fight, but medical suspensions can be waved with a doctor’s clearance, which Bisping says he has received according to Rolling Stone.
Gastelum, who has a 14-3 record and is just 26 years old, is a former Ultimate Fighter winner with key wins over Tim Kennedy, Johny Hendricks and Nate Marquardt. He recorded an impressive knockout victory over Vitor Belfort in March, but the result was ultimately ruled a no contest after he received his suspension.
Gastelum last fought in July, losing via submission in the third round to former middleweight champion Chris Weidman. A win over a former champion and Hall of Famer in Bisping, even on short notice, would put Gastelum right back in the hunt for the middleweight title.
By promptly stepping up and asking for this fight, Bisping has proved yet again that he’s one of the toughest fighters in UFC history. At 38 years old and a former champion, Bisping doesn’t have much left to prove.
Bisping recently said during UFC Shanghai’s media conference call.
“Realistically, I don’t see how I could have turned this down,” Bisping said. “I honestly think this is a win-win situation for me. I get to go out there, get back in the win column, hopefully, get to put on a great fight, remind the world what I’m capable of and I get paid again, so it’s all positives from my perspective.”
In his Hall of Fame career, Bisping has collected victories over Anderson Silva, Luke Rockhold, Cung Le and Dan Henderson, to name a few. Another win on Saturday would add to his legacy as one of the greatest middleweights of all time.
Win or lose, however, Bisping insists he has one more fight left in him, as he is expected to headline a London card in March, which would put an end to one of the greatest careers in UFC history.
The Rest of the Main Card
Welterweight fight: Li Jingliang vs. Zak Ottow
Featherweight fight: Wang Guan vs. Alex Caceres
Welterweight fight: Muslim Salikhov vs. Alex Garcia
UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims
Featherweight fight: Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Sheymon Moraes
Welterweight fight: Song Kenan vs. Bobby Nash
Women’s strawweight fight: Kailin Curran vs. Yan Xiaonan
Featherweight fight: Song Yadong vs. Bharat Kandare
Heavyweight fight: Chase Sherman vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
Women’s bantamweight fight: Wu Yanan vs. Gina Mazany
Featherweight fight: Wuliji Buren vs. Rolando Dy
Heavyweight fight: Cyril Asker vs. Hu Yaozong