No, Michael. I have not forgotten UFC 206. When you told the world you were ready to fight GSP or Nick Diaz, but LITERALLY ONE DAY after Jacare Souza became available, you were injured. Scrolling fan comments and listening to the MMA media, I am convinced that I am somehow the only person in the MMA community who remembers this vividly. This speaks to how adept a conman Michael Bisping is. He has pulled the wool over journalists’ and fans’ eyes into believing the “I only accepted the contract that was put in front of me. I would be a fool to say no to GSP” angle. Similar to how he always states, “They offered me Dan Henderson, and I took it,” as if he had not lobbied for this match very vocally and publicly prior to the match being made. Folks, I am not a hater. I am a lifelong fan of MMA and I respect Michael Bisping as a fighter. He is tough as nails and fights with a lot of heart and determination and he earned the Middleweight championship. But I am attempting to do what MMA journalists are not: state the obvious and call a spade a spade. Michael Bisping has in fact ducked the top ranked MMA opponents, and he was just rewarded for it. The conjob was a success.
Yesterday, I went on as much of a rant as I could on Twitter about this fight being booked and all the questions that it raises. One of the questions was about race. Non-surprisingly, after the race tweet, my number of followers went down a couple, because as Dana White stated, “No one wants to hear that.” Let me be clear on why this booking is so foul and how the majority of the MMA journalists seem to be allowing themselves to be bamboozled by this conman. Bisping is scheduled to be cleared to compete in the spring. Meanwhile, GSP will need to be tested by USADA for the next 3-4 months and the fight is already being estimated to take place in the second half of the year. So what does this mean? It means that Romero/Bisping could have EASILY taken place in the spring (or at the latest, the early summer) and then GSP faces the winner in the fall. Now, let’s say GSP negotiated to fight Bisping and only Bisping. Then Romero could still fight Bisping and GSP could fight Bisping in a non-title match if/when Bisping loses to Romero. The fight would still be a money fight without the middleweight championship. My argument is not centered around race, but I do believe that it is ONE of the questions to be asked. If Woodley was on schedule to compete in the spring and Stephen Thompson was available to fight, I do believe that it would be Woodley/Thompson between May/June and then the winner would fight GSP in the second half of the year. Is Shelby and the UFC secretly plotting to leave Romero out because of his race? Highly unlikely. But I do believe that they would rather make sure it’s Bisping/GSP then risk Romero/GSP, partly because that’s what GSP prefers, and also partly because they believe Bisping is more marketable. And it is that “marketable” aspect where it is subconsciously about race to some degree. Bisping just now became a headliner. Romero has been a destroyer. If Romero were to defeat Bisping and become champion, and you can’t market Yoel Romero, the most destructive-looking MW in the world right now against a returning GSP, then that lack of marketing ambition is going to be a problem for the UFC going forward.
But this grievance is not about race. That is just one of the questions. Let’s not get distracted by the questions, instead let’s look at the facts: Bisping openly lobbied to fight Henderson, then continues to say “The UFC just happened to offer me that fight.”Bisping openly said he was ready for UFC 206 and then one day after a top contender became available, became injured. And now, Bisping is openly saying he would accept any fight the UFC would give him, because he knew full well his fight with GSP was already a done deal. Stop allowing yourself to be bamboozled by this conman. It’s almost as ugly as the conjob itself. The bottom line is: the MW division is about to be frozen for two years in terms of meritocracy. Because if GSP does defeat Bisping, I find it doubtful that he will want anything to do with Romero as evident by the fact that he couldn’t be bothered to face the winner of Romero/Bisping. Instead we can look forward to him either attempting to become a two-class world champion or trying to book another money fight with Nick Diaz, Conor McGregor, etc. So this fight is a division killer and the MMA media needs to mobilize against this, instead of falling for this conman’s bullshit. Eventually, I may become an MMA journalist myself as my frustration with them is beginning to reach a point where the expression, “If you want something done right, do it yourself” is starting to manifest inside me. Because if the MMA media won’t fight for the fighters: then I’ll soon have to don the gloves myself.