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28th Jan 2018

A former foe is on the cards for Michael Bisping’s retirement fight at UFC London

The first fight took place at light heavyweight

Darragh Murphy

Michael Bisping doesn’t have much time left to deliberate over whether or not he wants to make the walk to the Octagon one last time.

Bisping has always maintained that he wants to retire in England and had been targeting UFC London as the ideal card on which to close the curtain on a storied career.

The former UFC middleweight champion rejected the chance to meet fierce rival Vitor Belfort on March 17 but, apparently, another former foe is in the running to share the Octagon with Bisping in less than seven weeks’ time.

Esteemed mixed martial arts journalist Ariel Helwani has reported that a rematch with Rashad Evans is being discussed as a potential headliner of the event, which will take place at the O2 Arena.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Evans claimed a split decision over Bisping when they first met at 205lbs more than a decade ago.

The 2007 fight was Bisping’s final one at light heavyweight before he made the decision to drop to 185lbs, where he claimed the title with a shock knockout of Luke Rockhold in 2016.

While the Brit has suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time in his career, Evans is enduring a much worse losing streak as he has lost four consecutive fights and hasn’t tasted victory in five years.

Bisping has admitted that he’d been offered a fight by the UFC but hadn’t officially accepted it as of Monday, with his family urging him to retire immediately.

“I’m just debating whether or not I take the fight,” Bisping said on his podcast Believe You Me

“For me, whether or not those people can see, I have a bad eye. I have a bad eye and my wife doesn’t want me to continue fighting, and my manager doesn’t want me to continue fighting.

“I see out of that eye but not as well as I used to, and I’m still a young man so it’s kind of the reason I may hang the gloves up.

“My wife and manager and friends and people close to me say, ‘Mike, what do you want to do that for? You’ve done it. You’ve had the belt.’ I’ve done it. I’ve done what I set out to achieve.”