XXX: Return of Xander Cage thespian Michael Bisping has a part-time gig as an MMA fighter. Did you know that? Fascinating stuff, really. Anyway, there’s been a bit of grumbling (and showmanship) from top middleweight contender Yoel Romero’s camp over the lack of title fight coming the Soldier of God’s way. The latest critique of Bisping came via Romero’s manager Malki Kawa on Tuesday’s edition of The Luke Thomas Show.
Kawa’s client is the clear cut #1 contender in the division, but Bisping’s unapologetic interest in big money fights (like say a certain Georges St-Pierre comeback bout) has made this potential tilt a non-priority for the British MMA vet. According to Kawa, Bisping is actively sidestepping a fight with Romero. Why? A fight with Romero could derail Bisping’s gravy train final act.
“The reality of it is that Dana agrees and so does every single person that owns the UFC, has a piece of the UFC,” said Kawa on the SiriusXM Rush program. “From the celebrity owners to Ari Emanuel, Patrick Whitesell, every one of the employees at WME, every single person here at First Round Management, and probably the millions and millions of fans that watch the UFC agree that Yoel Romero deserves the next shot at Michael Bisping. I think the issue here is the following: Michael Bisping understands that his days are numbered when it comes to a guy like Yoel Romero. I think he understands the game very well from every opponent he’s picked.”
Romero’s agent cited fights like the Bisping/Henderson clash from October as evidence of lower card guys being gifted what Romero has arguably earned. Kawa makes no bones about his belief that Bisping is ducking Romero. (He also is not saying “ducking” in a positive Gordon Bombay sort of way.)
“I don’t care what anybody says, he is absolutely ducking Yoel Romero right now. It’s been confirmed to me by everybody at the UFC. Michael Bisping wants no part of Yoel Romero at this point. None whatsoever.
“I’m not telling you that he’s necessarily ducking him because he doesn’t want to ever fight him, I just think that right now, at this point he’s just trying to sidestep that fight, take this Georges St-Pierre fight, hope he wins, and if he wins, ‘I’ll fight Yoel Romero.’ If he doesn’t win, ‘I got my payday,’ and then Yoel can go and fight Georges.”
It’s not hard to find reasonable points for why Bisping should or should not fight Romero. On paper, Romero seems like a strong contender to fustigate Bisping and end this lucrative title headliner run he’s enjoying which might not be too appealing for a man being punched in the face for a living. On the other, Yoel Romero has more than done his part as a fighter and pseudo promoter to come across like a badass you could hype a fight with. Here’s hoping whatever happens isn’t shaped by the inevitable next high profile UFC injury.
(Via MMA Fighting)