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Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows. That’s the roulette wheel of opponents for “THE COUNT” MICHAEL BISPING in his retirement fight. Even after he beat LUKE ROCKHOLD for the middleweight title Bisping knew his days fighting in the cage were dwindling. Especially since the 39 year old was doing more gigs for FOX, as well as his podcast, and other “outside” interests. So he had to make the most of what time remained. Once the on again off again fight with GSP was official, he’d have his “legacy fight”. Losing to St. Pierre definitely changed his path dramatically. Then being a warrior stepping back into the cage 3 weeks later against KELVIN GASTELUM only to get rocked put his “well maybe I will maybe I won’t” retirement fight onto the front burner. We’re coming up on 4 months since those devastating loses. So first things first. It’s been decided win lose or draw his next fight will be his last.

The when and who are the two answers still unknown. The when could be figured out a bit easier. Back 4 months ago it was assumed his final fight would actually be in next weekends fight night in LONDON. Thus sending the Manchester born hero into retirement in front of “his crowd”. But suffering multiple concussions that idea was scratched pretty quickly. At the earliest right now it could be placed onto the international fight week card July 7th as part of the pay-per-view for UFC 226. Or it could be held back till August or even as late as September. If they hold off till the fall it could be back-to-back ppv’s with fighters retiring as his fellow FOX commentator DANIEL CORMIER said he will absolutely not fight at the age of 40.

The who part is the tougher question. Not that anyone in the UFC is a gimme win; but it’s always nicer to see a guy retire with a win. It’s a foregone conclusion that ROBERT WHITTAKER will take on one of Michael’s arch enemies YOEL ROMERO. If it doesn’t happen it’s not likely The Count will want his final time in the cage to be vs Yoel. SOUZA and GASTELUM mix it up in May at UFC 224, BRANCH has SANTOS in Atlantic City. Two good ideas are fighting each other in MACHIDA and BELFORT. DEREK BRUNSON still isn’t a “shiny name” to go next to Michael’s. It’s highly doubtful he’d step in against an un-ranked opponent so all options may lead to CHRIS WEIDMAN; who hasn’t fought since beating Gastelum this past summer on FOX. Ending with a trilogy fight with major adversary LUKE ROCKHOLD may get more peoples juices flowing; but Luke is  right now prepping for a move to 205. So Long Island’s “ALL AMERICAN” may be the best and right answer to take on the English slugger. Plus, the pair have traded colorful barbs in the past.


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