LONDON ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: Michael Bisping of Great Britain celebrates victory against Yoshihiro Akiyama of Japan during their UFC middleweight bout at the O2 Arena on October 16 2010 in London England. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
The Buffalo Bills in the 1990s fielded some of the best teams in the National Football League (NFL). They reached four Super Bowls in a row with those teams, too, though they infamously lost every single one.
But at least they made it there.
In mixed martial arts (MMA), there is a man who holds the distinction of being an elite fighter throughout nearly his entire career -- spanning six long years under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner -- who has never even fought for a championship.
That man is Michael Bisping.
It's almost hard to believe considering how diligently the world's largest fight promotion has gone about matchmaking through his career. He's not exactly been thrown to the wolves each time out to the cage but he hasn't had it easy either. He's a superstar in the United Kingdom and after 16 fights inside the Octagon, you would think he would get that title shot sooner or later, right?
"I've been talking about being a top contender for a long time. But the world title seems to always be one or two fights away. If I beat Brian Stann, I'll get the title shot. It's a tough fight. He hits hard. He will try to knock me out from the opening bell. I've been working with a new boxing coach. Technically, I'm faster than I've ever been. I'm stronger than I've ever been. I'm athletically way better. And I'm mentally more prepared as well."
Before his controversial decision loss to Chael Sonnen in January of this year, Bisping had ripped off four straight victories, the final two by way of stoppage. He was looking as good as he ever had, against solid competition too.
But that didn't happen and now he's got an "All American" who is standing in his way. But even if he wins that fight, there are no guarantees he'll be fighting for the 185-pound strap when he's done.
Indeed, "The Spider" recently accepted a bout against Stephen Bonnar at light heavyweight in the main event of UFC 153 on Oct. 13 and when he's done there, the Brazilian is hoping to finally put together the long awaited and highly anticipated superfight against Georges St. Pierre, pending the result of his welterweight title unification bout against Carlos Condit at UFC 154 on Nov. 17 in Montreal.
Bisping fits in somewhere but the reality is that he's probably another fight or two away from a title shot.
Just like always.