Michael Bisping answers UFC Shanghai SOS as Anderson Silva replacement on short notice
The 38-year-old will face Kelvin Gastelum in the main event on November 25, just three weeks after getting choked out in title loss to Georges St-Pierre
Michael Bisping has sensationally answered the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s call after the legendary Anderson Silva was dropped from the Shanghai main event for a potential failed drugs test.
The UFC Fight Night event takes place at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai on November 25 with Bisping now facing Kelvin Gastelum.
It means just a three-week turnaround following his middleweight championship defeat by the returning Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 in New York.
The 38-year-old was submitted in the third round via rear-naked choke, but quashed rumours of retirement during his post-fight interview by confirming he wanted to fight again.
But nobody thought it would be this soon.
Bisping wrote in an Instagram post: “2 main events in 3 weeks on opposite sides of the planet..... walk in the park.”
The Englishman (30-8) is no stranger to taking fights on short notice – he had just two weeks to prepare before he stunned former champion Luke Rockhold to win the title last summer.
“With just two weeks to go, we are ready to bring our great fans on mainland China their first-ever UFC
live event,” UFC vice-president of Asia Pacific Kevin Chang said in a statement.
“We are honoured by the overwhelming response from fans and we look forward to giving them a night to remember.”
Bisping is tied for most wins in UFC history on 20, and could immediately get back into title contention with a victory over No 8-ranked middleweight Gastelum (13-3).
It is the second time for 26-year-old Gastelum that a scheduled fight against Silva has fallen through. The United States Anti-Doping Agency suspended Gastelum for three months this summer after a positive test for marijuana ahead of UFC 212.
In the Shanghai co-main event, China’s Li Jingliang (13-4) fights Zak Ottow of the US (15-4) in a welterweight clash.
Home fans will also be cheering on Wang “The Dongbei Tiger” Guan (18-1-1) against featherweight prospect Alex Caceres (14-11).