Michael Bisping has some words to say about Lyoto Machida.
This past weekend at UFC Belem, Middleweight veteran and former Lightheavyweight champion Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida scraped out an impressive win over powerful contender Eryk Anders. After the fight, when asked who he would like to fight next, Lyoto replied simply, “Michael Bisping.”
Bisping was dethroned by Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217, and quickly lost to Kelvin Gastelum on short notice after that. Now “The Count” is looking for a retirement fight, and he has responded to Machida’s callout on the latest episode of his ‘Believe You Me Podcast’ podcast.
Vitor Belfort has already called out Bisping for a retirement fight, but Bisping replied that he didn’t want to be remembered for trash talk and animosity, which is exactly what a retirement fight with Belfort would bring. While it may be too late for Bisping to not be remembered for animosity, he seems more open to the prospect of fighting Machida, calling the Brazilian a “nice guy, good guy.”
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Machida, I really do. As I said on Saturday, he’s one of the true 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 Machida fight as well is something that could serve as my last bout. He’s a former champion, had a long career and getting to the final stages of his career. He’s someone I haven’t fought and have a lot of respect for.”
A bout between Bisping and Machida would certainly be a spectacle. Michael has a strait-forward boxing pressure and Machida an elusive karate style. It would make for an interesting game of cat and mouse in the cage. Neither possesses extreme knockout power, so the fight has a high chance of being tense and ultimately a decision. Of course payment is the big obstacle now. Bisping says it’s time to begin negotiation.
“He’s had a great career and it ticks all the boxes from that standpoint. That’s about it. As of right now I’ve got to speak to the UFC and find out what’s going on for myself. I’m not considering opponents or who they are. I’ve got to speak to Dana and the UFC guys and figure out what’s going on next and in life.”
Bisping wrapped up the podcast in signature fashion.
“God bless Machida. Thanks for the call out, we will see what the future holds.”