Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
Michael Bisping is ready to make the rumors a reality and accept a fight against Vitor Belfort. If not, he is more than happy to wait for the winner of Chris Wiedman and Tim Boetsch at UFC 155 ... and then tool him sometime in early 2013.
Well, that and giving his very honest opinion as to how he feels about the rest of the 185-pound division.
Initially rumored to be taking on Brazilian powerhouse Vitor Belfort in his next outing, UFC President Dana White recently revealed the match up between the two was not yet a done deal. Just in case the UFC's head honcho needs any confirmation, Bisping is, "more than up" for a fight against the dangerous striker.
Speaking to ESPN, the British brawler said he is ready to swing leather opposite Belfort, as well as gave his overall assessment of two other scrappy middleweights in Tim Boetsch and Chris Weidman who will collide in December.
"I've heard the rumor myself, but that's all I've heard, If the fight was to happen I'd definitely be up for it. I've got a lot of respect for Vitor, he's a tough fighter. I want to fight for the title and have the best fights possible - and Vitor would definitely be one of them. Based on that, if the UFC were to come to me with an offer to fight Vitor, I would be more than up for it. I'd look forward to the challenge."
Should the bought against "The Phenom" not come to fruition, the brash Brit has a contingency plan set:
"The winner of Boetsch v Weidman is the natural fight and if I was playing it smart, I'd sit on the sidelines and fight one of them. I match up really well with both of them. Weidman's stand-up is very very poor, it's not good at all. He's a very good wrestler, very good grappler, but I do well against those guys. I'd get back to my feet and knock him out. Boetsch I don't particularly rank at all. He's just a tough bastard! I'd have my way with him all day. So if I played it smart I'd wait for them to fight at the end of the year, maybe fight the winner in March/April, but I'm not prepared to do that. This is the way I make a living and I want to fight. I want to fight somebody else in the mean time. I'll take my chance. If I win, great. If I lose, I don't deserve a title shot anyway. I want to fight in January or February. I'd like to fight three or four times a year."
"All American" and "The Barbarian" are currently penciled in to square off at UFC 155 on Dec. 29, 2012, in a fight that can have major title shot implications.
Bisping is riding high fresh off his decisive unanimous decision victory over Brian Stann at UFC 152, while Belfort is coming off a loss to UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, at the same event.
Not wanting to sit on the sidelines much longer, a match up against Belfort would appear to be first option for Bisping, however, either Weidman or Boetsch will suffice, too.
Who would you like to see him face next?