Michael Bisping believes his next fight will be against Chael Sonnen for UFC title

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Michael Bisping of Great Britain celebrates his victory over Jorge Rivera of the USA in their middleweight bout part of at UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Michael Bisping was dealt a setback recently when he was forced to withdraw from his bout against Tim Boetsch at UFC 149, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on July 21, 2012, because of an injured knee.

Bisping recently appeared on HD Net's "Inside MMA" to address the injury, the surgery and the timetable for his return to the Octagon. According to "The Count," he'd like to be back in action sooner rather than later:

"Yeah, left knee. Slightly torn meniscus. I had some loose bodies -- two rather large pieces of cartilage floating around inside. I had what they call, 'fraying of the knee' inside. It's general wear and tear. So they went in, repaired the meniscus, removed the loose bodies and cleaned up the knee, somewhat. That was last Wednesday. I'm still in a lot of pain, limping around a lot. But I'm hoping, within a few weeks, I'll be back in the gym, so I can fight ASAP."

The injury reportedly occurred during a wrestling session in training. Bisping stated that this isn't the first time he's been seriously hurt while working on his grappling:

"Every time I've injured myself, it's always been through wrestling. Don't get me wrong, when you spar and when you're kickboxing, you might hurt your hand every now and again. You might hurt your shin or whatever, but that heals up in a few days. Any time I've injured myself, significantly, it's always been through wrestling. I tore my posterior cruciate ligament in 2006, wrestling with Georges St. Pierre -- five days before the final of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). Since then, I've always had a bit of a 'dicky' left knee, so to speak. To use an English term."

Follow me after the jump, where we'll take a look at Bisping's prediction for Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen 2, as well his justification for the reason his next fight should be for a UFC championship belt:

Bisping went on to talk about his injury, an ailment that was not immediately clear as being a serious setback:

"I was just wrestling and I felt a bit of a tweak. The next day it was sore. I was using that as an excuse to my girlfriend to make her move around the house and get me drinks, get me this and that -- 'Babe, I got a bad knee.' But I really did have a bad knee. I was laying in bed one night, and it was clunking. I said, 'listen to that,' and you could hear the clunking. The next morning, when I woke up, I couldn't move my leg and there was a bit of an injury."

In a somewhat scary turn of events, Bisping went out to test the knee after injuring himself in practice, only to find his body betray him while in the middle of a run down the street:

"The two loose bodies that they found in there, sometimes they would be fine. But they'd move to a certain area, when I'd try and bend the knee, it would maybe catch under a tendon or something like that. So sometimes it would be completely fine, and other times, my leg would just give way. I went running that morning, and by the time I got to the end of the street, I'd collapsed three times. That's when I knew, something is severely wrong here."

The surgery is over and done with, and according to doctors, it was a success. Now, it's on to the recovery and rehabilitation process.

Bisping says he's ready to do everything he has to do to get back to training and, ultimately, back into the cage for his next UFC bout.

He'd like that fight to be for the title, and he believes, if things go the way he thinks they will, that the man wearing the Middleweight Championship belt around his waist will be Chael Sonnen, the man who defeated Bisping by a narrow margin when the two squared off at UFC on Fox 2, in Chicago, Ill., on Jan. 28, 2012:

"I wanna fight ASAP. Obviously, it depends on the knee and how well it goes. But I'm gonna do everything in my power to ensure that I can train, ASAP, as I said. I'd love to fight on the first of September card. That may be too quick. I know Hector Lombard's now fighting Tim Boetsch. He's gonna replace me there. So they're busy. Chael Sonnen's fighting Anderson Silva. I think Chael wins that fight. At least I think. The first fight is gonna give him a lot of confidence. The way he fought, handily for four and a half rounds. I think he's gonna go in there with a lot of confidence and do the same thing, but not get submitted in the last round. After that, Chael's gonna need someone to challenge him, and I mean, who is there? Vitor Belfort's injured. I mean, who are the challengers? I was fighting Chael for the number one contender. Just because I narrowly lost that fight doesn't mean I go to the back of the pile. So I'm hoping to fight for the title. Hopefully, I'll get the knee correct, and then they're gonna need a challenger. I'm here, ready and waiting."

What say you, Maniacs? Does "The Count" deserve an immediate title shot? What do you think of assessment of the upcoming battle between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen at UFC 148, in "Sin City," on July 7, 2012?

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