Longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight striker Michael Bisping lost his place in the 185-pound line earlier this year, thanks to a close unanimous decision defeat to Chael Sonnen at the UFC on FOX 2 event that temporarily dashed his title aspirations.
The loss to Sonnen snapped a streak of four consecutive wins, leaving "The Count" with very few options from a matchmaking standpoint. Most of the mid to lower tier fighters he's already beat, while a majority of the A-listers are currently tied up with other contenders.
Oh, hello Tim Boetsch.
The bomb-dropping "Barbarian," who was battered across two rounds at UFC 144 by muscular middleweight Yushin Okami, hulked-up prior to the start of the final fame and came out with a live-action Dragon Smash, scrambling the brains of the Japanese juggernaut and snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
So what's he got planned for an encore? Boetsch breaks it down for Full Contact Fighter, after the jump.
"I’ve done interviews where they’ll say I’m known for being a grinder, wearing people out, and I’ve had to remind them that sure, my last two wins at middleweight went to decision, but before that I won most of my fights by TKO and finishing guys. This isn’t anything new, my power certainly hasn’t gone away; I feel like I’m hitting harder now than I was at light heavyweight. I think that maybe people had forgotten that I can stop people with my hands. I’d like to think my next fight will be against whoever’s next in line to determine who will face the winner of the Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen fight. Definitely I’d like to take on a top three fighter; I want that fight, I want to take them out. (Michael) Bisping’s name has been on my agenda for a long time. Even back when we were at light heavyweight he was someone I wanted to fight. I think he did a heck of a job against Chael and he’s certainly up there as a contender…It will be interesting to see who they come with, and whoever they do, I’ll be ready."
Boetsch has now won three straight as a 185-pounder, and his finish over Okami, a former division number one contender, surely puts him in line for bigger and better things.
But how big?
While Bisping is currently cruising the surf for potential opponents, Demian Maia -- also a former contender -- needs a date to the big dance later this year.
Let's get some thoughts here, Maniacs, are we putting too much stock in his win last month in Japan, or is Boetsch truly ready to make the jump to the next level?
And what's your take on a potential Bisping fight?