Randy Couture: Michael Bisping deserves a UFC title shot

SYDNEY AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 22: Michael Bisping talks to the media during an Open Workout ahead of UFC Sydney 127 at Star City on February 22 2011 in Sydney Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

It's a dark day in mixed martial arts when "Captain America" picks a British bad boy over an American Gangster.

Especially in the UFC's crowded middleweight title chase, where no less than three men are all vying for the top spot and a shot at reigning division champion Anderson Silva.

Chief among them is Michael Bisping, who will put his ground skills to the test against the ferocious mat work of Demian Maia as part of the UFC on FOX 2 event scheduled for Jan. 28, 2012, at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.

If "The Count" is able to defeat the Brazilian, on a card that also features an eliminator bout between Chael Sonnen and Mark Munoz, he "probably" deserves a shot at Silva when "The Spider" returns from a shoulder injury in June of next year.

That's according to UFC hall-of-famer Randy Couture (via ESPN):

"I think he probably does. He's right up there in the top four or five guys in that weight class. You can split hairs on deciding who the No. 1 contender is. He's coming off a great outing against Jason Miller, weathered a storm and had the conditioning and great technique to finish the fight well. He's one of the top guys so why not?"

A victory in the "Windy City" would give Bisping five straight wins inside the Octagon and put him at 22-3 overall. It would also make him the only middleweight contender outside of Mark Munoz who hasn't already been defeated by Silva.

Bisping vs. the winner of Sonnen vs. Munoz to determine the true number one contender? Or does a win over Maia seal the deal for "The Count?'

What say you?

UFC on FOX 2, which will mark the promotion's second appearance on network television, will be headlined by a light heavyweight number one contender bout, as Rashad Evans and Phil Davis return from injuries to battle for the right to fight division champion Jon Jones.

For the latest "Evans vs. Davis" news and notes check out our comprehensive event archive right here.

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