UFC: Michael Bisping sympathizes with Israel Adesanya, but defends UFC 281 stoppage

The former middleweight champion of the UFC thinks that referee Marc Goddard did a good job when he called off the title bout between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira, but he also understands why Adesanya thinks it was called off too soon.

Alex Parera
Alex Parera

Israel Adesanya vs Alex Pereira

Michael Bisping has conflicting emotions on how the UFC 281 main event transpired.

This past Saturday, Adesanya was defeated by his kickboxing opponent for the UFC middleweight title. One of Pereira’s blows caught and knocked Adesanya, who was leading the fight 39-37 going into the fifth round, to the ground. Although he never hit the ground, he was clearly harmed. That convinced Goddard to put an end to the altercation.

Bisping on his YouTube channel regarding the stoppage said that “To be honest, I don’t think it was stopped early. However, I think there’s a debate and discussion to have. If I were Israel, I’d be pretty annoyed. I love Marc Goddard, he’s one of the best in the business, I’m not saying that.

But from a fighter’s perspective, if I want to have my belt taken off me, I want to be been choked unconscious and left on the floor in Madison Square Garden. That’s exactly what GSP did to me.
“I think at that level of the game, you can let it go a little bit longer, but fighter’s safety is absolutely paramount. Izzy was looking at the floor, but he was on the feet and kind of moving the head. So that is somewhat defensive. But still, nonetheless, it still wasn’t a bad stoppage.”

Regarding potential future events. Bisping believes Adesanya has done enough to earn a chance to reclaim his belt right away.

“Me, personally, I think Izzy deserves a rematch,” Bisping said. “I think he’s been such a great champion. He’s been entertaining. He’s been charismatic. He’s been a workhorse for the UFC.

They said it in the commentary there, ever since Izzy won the belt, he’s competed in 20 percent of the UFC’s title fights. I mean, that is phenomenal. What a schedule.”

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