Just three weeks after being knocked down and choked out by St-Pierre (a loss that cost Bisping the UFC middleweight title), Bisping was back in action at UFC Shanghai on Nov. 25. The booking materialized when Anderson Silva was failed a USADA drug test and was removed from his main event bout vs. Kelvin Gastelum.
Fighting on short-notice ended poorly for Bisping, as he was knocked out by Gastelum 2:30 into the opening round. That outcome raised the question of whether it was wise for Bisping to take the fight so soon after being finished by St-Pierre.
On Wednesday, GSP told TSN that he understands what motivated Bisping to get back in the Octagon so soon, while also questioning whether officials should have prevented him from taking such a risk in the first place.
“Medically, that was not the right thing to do,” St-Pierre said. “However, if he would have succeeded – you know, he took a big risk and me, I can accept that because he took a big risk – if he would have succeeded he would have been like a hero. It’s like, ‘Oh my God, he just lose the title and then he come back with no preparation, boom, wins a fight.’ I think he tried to do something that was very, very risky, but at the same time if he would have achieved it, it would have been a big reward for him. So I can respect that. For him, I can respect the idea that he had, the goal that he had doing it.
“However, I believe for the UFC, that was not good to let an athlete fight after getting concussed in a fight for the world title and then getting choked out. I don’t think it was medically a good thing for the UFC. But for Michael, as a fighter, I understand his point of view. He wanted to turn around the table and he wanted to do something that was special and I can understand that because coming back after four years myself, it was a lot of risk, and I wanted to do something special and I succeeded, I’m happy I did it. Unfortunately for Michael, it failed. But I can respect that from a man.”
St-Pierre’s win over Bisping came in his first fight since November 2013. The long-reigning welterweight king took a four-year break from the sport to recover both physically and mentally before coming back at 185 pounds and winning the middleweight title from Bisping. St-Pierre is currently sidelined as he deals with a bout of ulcerative colitis.
See the full TSN interview below: