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Coach Says Kelvin Gastelum Poses Bigger “Threat” to Michael Bisping Than GSP

Kelsey Mowatt

UFC FN 122

Although Michael Bisping was finished by Georges St-Pierre inside of three rounds at UFC 217, his striking coach believes Kelvin Gastelum poses a bigger threat to the former champ.

Bisping was floored by a left hook from GSP in the third round of their memorable bout, and then as the latter fired down shots from above, the British middleweight gave up his back and was choked out. Since then, Bisping has agreed to step on short notice at UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai, and take on Gastelum.

Recently Bisping’s striking coach, the renowned Jason Parillo, was a guest on ESPN’s Five Rounds Podcast. During the interview, Parillo had this to say about Gastelum (quotes via MMA Fighting):

“Really, Kelvin is, in my opinion, on the feet, a tougher fight than Georges St-Pierre,” said Parillo. “It’s not like Mike’s a guy that shoots and wrestles all the time so obviously it’s gonna be a lot of stand up fighting and this guy’s a bigger threat than I think that even Georges was.”

“…I’m concerned with everybody. If the guy’s got two arms and two legs and breathes, there’s a concern. You’ve got to try to look at the concern of it but you’ve also gotta support your athlete and go in there with a positive mind frame. I know Michael can beat Kelvin Gastelum. I know Michael could beat GSP. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that Michael would’ve started running away with it had we got to that fourth round.

It’s an interesting argument. It’s certainly true that Gastelum has demonstrated that he has some heavy and dangerous hands, and that GSP isn’t really known for being a finisher on the feet. Although, it was strikes that set up GSP’s historic win.

In addition, one could also argue that because Gastelum’s less likely to shoot in, Bisping will have more opportunities to score a knockout. The rugged vet’s boxing has reached new heights in recent years, as was evidenced in Bisping’s wins over Luke Rockhold and Anderson Silva. Parillo likely deserves a lot of credit for those improvements.

UFC Fight Night 122 will go down on November 25th.

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