Conor McGregor isn’t notorious solely for his fighting style, he’s also notorious about his business acumen, at least in the combat sports world.
Though he was the first athlete to capture two UFC world titles concurrently, McGregor goes after the biggest fight he can find, weight classes be damned. And with his recent fight with Floyd Mayweather, he’s shown that he doesn’t even have to stay inside his chosen sport.
Could middleweight champion Michael Bisping be ready to follow suit?
Bisping has already been accused of ducking the top contenders in the 185-pound division, as his lone title defense has been against Dan Henderson, who was granted the fight due to his legendary status and pending retirement, not because he held the top spot in the weight class. Now, Bisping is slated to put his belt up against returning former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in what will likely be the largest payday of the Brit’s lengthy career.
Though he’s waffled between retirement and putting the belt on the line again if he defeats GSP, there’s a new wrinkle to the Bisping title defense saga, as it seems a superfight with light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier could be in its infancy.
“Get my feet back under me, something kind of easy — give me Bisping. Give me Bisping!” Cormier said with a smile on his face when he and Bisping shared UFC broadcast duties this past weekend on FXX. “I’m trying to do some easy work. Give me Bisping.”
It appeared to be a playful taunt between co-workers at the time, but perhaps in Bisping’s mind, while he also saw it that way, it sprouted the idea that maybe his “big money fight” tour might not end with his UFC 217 headlining bout opposite St-Pierre on Nov. 4 in New York. Bisping recently indicated that the taunts weren’t isolated to the public broadcast.
“I was working with Daniel Cormier at the weekend and – first and foremost, we had a great time – all he kept talking about all weekend was, ‘Mike, I want to fight you next. I want to fight you.’ On air, off air, at the hotel, constantly. He’s like, ‘Mike, I will break you within five minutes.’ Dude, are you crazy? Do you really believe that?”Bisping said on the Tuesday edition of his Believe You Me podcast.
“I don’t know if he’s joking or if he’s serious, but if he is serious, I’ll fight him next. Even though I said last week I’m gonna retire, I would fight Daniel Cormier because that would be a huge fight. DC is a great guy, he’s hilarious, hell of a fighter, and he seems to be targeting a fight with me. So DC, if you’re serious, which I kind of think you are, then yeah, screw it, if only to annoy everyone in the world, I will, again fight somebody who doesn’t fight at middleweight.”
It wouldn’t be something unheard of for Bisping, who, as he said, at 38 years of age, is about ready to hang up his gloves. A high-dollar fight with Cormier to follow a high-dollar fight with St-Pierre would be a nice addition to his bank account to end his career.
And it’s not like it would be new territory for Bisping, who fought the early part of his career in the 205-pound division.
“I used to fight at 205, Dan,” he continued. “I was 15-0, so be careful what you wish for.”