Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
UFC middleweight contender Michael Bisping can likely earn himself a shot at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva with a victory over Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 7 on Jan. 19, 2013. With a chance to fight "The Spider" within reach, Bisping appeared on Monday's edition of "Inside MMA" on AXS TV and said if he does fight Silva, he won't "fall down" like the "bums" who have previously challenged the champion.
UFC President Dana White recently raised the stakes of Bisping's scheduled fight against Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 7 on Jan. 19, 2013, stating "The Count" would likely solidify the No. 1 contender position in the middleweight division with a win over "The Phenom" in Brazil.
With the news still fresh on Bisping's mind, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 3 winner appeared on Monday's edition of "Inside MMA" on AXS TV where he discussed the exciting news.
"For me Christmas is coming late this year, normally it's December 25th, for me Christmas is going to be January 19th when I go down to Brazil, beat the living snot out of Vitor Belfort and take my title fight, my rightly deserved title fight, my long overdue title fight."
Bisping is a 17-fight Octagon veteran who has floated near the top of division for the past few years, but with losses to Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen at crucial points in his career, has never been able to get over the hump and cement himself as the top 185-pound challenger.
Although Bisping claims he hasn't personally heard anything official from White regarding a title shot, the British fighter believes his record speaks for itself and should he get by Belfort, there's no denying a shot at "The Spider."
"I haven't personally heard anything from Dana [White] or the UFC, I heard him on the weekend say I'd probably get a shot at Belfort - sorry at Silva if I beat Belfort. I honestly believe I would deserve it, in my mind Vitor Belfort is the hardest fight in the middleweight division outside of Anderson Silva. My last fight was against Brian Stann, before that it was a controversial loss against Chael Sonnen, before that I hadn't lost a fight since 2009. So if I beat Vitor I definitely deserve a shot, I'm definitely the number one contender."
If Bisping were to defeat Belfort on his home turf next month, a fight against Silva would by bar far the biggest test of his 27-fight career. The 33-year-old does not know what his strategy would be against Silva because his attention is currently focused on "The Phenom," but Bisping can say one thing -- he's confident in his training, believes he can win and would not go down as easy as some of the champion's previous foes.
"Well, this is it, you know, Anderson is rightly so regarded pound-for-pound best. What can I do? Listen, I've never got in with him, I don't know. I believe in myself, I believe in my skills, I believe in my training, I believe in my ferocity as a fighter, I'll get in there and I'll fight him, I certainly ain't going to fall down like some of these bums have done lately."
UFC on FX 7: "Belfort vs. Bisping" goes down Jan. 19, 2013, from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Along with the Belfort vs. Bisping headliner, the main card -- set to air on FX-- features match ups of C.B. Dollaway vs. Daniel Sarafian, Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Ben Rothwell and Thiago Tavares vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov.