SYDNEY AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 23: Michael Bisping of England speaks during a Press Conference ahead of UFC 127 at Star City on February 23 2011 in Sydney Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
British brawler Michael Bisping was on the cusp of finally receiving his long-desired chance to vie for an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title. All he had to do was defeat the one-man promotion machine who is Chael Sonnen at UFC on Fox 2: "Evans vs. Davis" earlier this year in Chicago, Illinois.
Unfortunately for "The Count," the judges didn't side with him and gave Sonnen the unanimous decision victory, setting up the most-anticipated rematch in the promotion's history between Sonnen and 185-pound kingpin Anderson Silva, which will headline UFC 148 on July 7, 2012, while Bisping is forced to pick up the pieces and start his climb back to the top after tumbling down the middleweight rankings.
Scheduled to face Tim Boetsch at UFC 149, Bisping was forced to withdraw due to injury (torn meniscus), slowing down his climb back to a number one contender's bout to get him closer to his coveted title shot.
However, according to the Brit, he shouldn't have to climb too much in order to get a shot at the title.
Appearing on today's (Jun., 11, 2012) episode of The MMA Hour, Bisping talks about who he wants to face when he returns from his injury as well as saying he will be "massively" disappointed if Hector Lombard receives a shot at the title after one just victory in the UFC.
Check it out:
"Listen, it was a close fight with Chael Sonnen, but the general consensus is that I won the fight. So, if Chael beats Anderson, and that's a big if, then I would like a rematch. I would like my instant rematch with Chael. Everybody else gets their rematches. Frankie Edgar gets his, I don't know, everyone seems to get their rematch so I would like my rematch and I would like to fight Chael and for the belt. If Anderson wins, sure I'd take the title fight, I said IF Chael wins. Listen, Anderson Silva is the greatest fighter in the history of the sport, he is an absolute legend and it will be an honor to fight him, that's what I wanted to do my whole career. I want to fight Anderson Silva, so yeah, if Anderson wins, of course I'd like the title fight. I think I've done enough to warrant a title shot. I've been around the sport long enough and have been consistent, I'm on a good win streak apart from a couple of bogus decisions, I haven't lost a fight since the Dan Henderson fight. That's my only loss other than a couple of judges decisions where they felt I lost the fight. But, other than a shot at the title, there are some interesting opportunities. There is Brian Stann, I know he is injured, there is Vitor Belfort, the middleweight division is very stacked and there is not a shortage of people who want to knock me out."
When asked what he thought of the probability of Lombard getting a title shot after only one victory inside the Octagon, "The Count" didn't mix any words:
"Massively, massively pissed off. Listen, I understand the UFC's decision, the reason why I haven't had a title shot is because of me, I'm a realist and I understand what's happening. I have been in the position to fight for the title several times and have been in number one contender match-up's several times. So I've got no one to blame but myself, I'm not blaming the UFC, I'm not angry with the UFC. If I had beaten Dan Henderson I would have fought for the title but I didn't , If I had beaten Chael Sonnen I'd be fighting Anderson in Brazil, but I didn't , I was robbed by the judges, it wasn't the UFC. So yeah, it's frustrating to see someone coming from Bellator. I will be honest, I have never seen the guy fight once because I've never seen Bellator, I don't watch it, I have no interest. By all accounts he's an aggressive fighter and he knocks people out, but I have never seen him fight. He could be the best thing since sliced bread, I don't' know. But what I do know is that he has never fought in the UFC, so why the fuck is he getting a title shot?"
Apparently, "What have you done for me lately?" doesn't apply to Bisping.
Lombard's original opponent, Brian Stann, also fell victim to the injury bug and was forced to withdraw from their scheduled headlining bout at UFC on Fox 4, which was set to take place in Los Angeles, California, on Aug. 4, 2012.
So, the logical thing to do was to match the two fighters left without opponents, Lombard and Boetsch, to square off against one another at UFC 149 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on July 21, 2012. Whether or not Lombard still gets a title shot with a win over "The Barbarian," remains to be seen.
What's your take on Bisping's stance, does he deserve an immediate rematch against Chael Sonnen, even if it means it will be a title fight coming off a loss? Or is "The Count" way off base with this one?
Does anyone find it odd that Bisping is adamant in stating that he is still on a win streak regardless just having suffered a loss to Sonnen in his last outing?