Michael Bisping (30-8) is redefining his pseudonym, “The Count” in more ways than one. After losing his middleweight title to Georges St. Pierre in spectacular fashion at UFC 217, Bisping was announced this week as the replacement opponent for Kelvin Gastelum (13-3-1) for UFC Fight Night occurring in China in less than two weeks.
Looks like Dana White can certainly “count” on his British star when he is in a bind.
Bisping is looking to capitalize from the camp he just finished for the GSP fight at Madison Square Garden, where he was submitted via rear naked choke and suffered no career sidelining injuries. According to Yahoo Sports, Bisping texted Dana White when he heard that originally scheduled opponent Anderson Silva was removed from the card due to an anti-doping violation from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
“I texted him, ‘I see that Gastelum needs an opponent,’ and I said I know a guy that fought last week that has no injuries,” Bisping revealed to Yahoo Sports’ MMA Weekly. “He texts back, ‘interesting,’ and I said, ‘very.’ Then he called me. Obviously, he was concerned that I had no injuries or anything like that. I had to do some medical tests or whatever and when he was satisfied, he was like, ‘cool, let’s do it.’ He was over the moon; he couldn’t believe it.”
The UFC released the following statement upon the revelation by USADA:
The UFC organization was notified today (November 10) that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Anderson Silva of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on October 26, 2017. As a result, Silva has been provisionally suspended by USADA.
Due to the proximity of Silva’s upcoming scheduled bout at UFC Fight Night, Shanghai, China on November 25, 2017 against Kelvin Gastelum, Silva has been removed from the card and UFC is currently seeking a replacement.”
This is not the first time that Silva has had issues with USADA. He was suspended for a year and his win against Nick Diaz was overturned to a no contest after he tested positive for Drostanolone and Androstane, both anabolic steroids that are on the banned substances list. A second test also showed anti-anxiety medications in his system.
With Bisping planning on retiring when the UFC returns in March 2018 to London, this fight is his way to get another payday before calling it quits on an astounding career.