Michael Bisping: 'If I've gotta fight Chris Weidman to get to Anderson Silva, so be it'

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

If Chris Weidman disposes of Tim Boetsch later this year, expect him to continue his campaign to fight Anderson Silva. But don't be surprised if he must first go through fellow UFC middleweight contender Michael Bisping.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight division is more competitive than it has been for a very long time. With that said, the title picture is as murky as the weight class is diverse.

That's because of the recent influx of up-and-comers who have made names for themselves; fighters like Chris Weidman, Tim Boetsch (who dropped down from the light heavyweight division) and Alan Belcher, who is not a recent addition, but he has been making a lot of noise with big wins, as of late.

Additionally, there is Michael Bisping, another fighter who has dropped down from 205 pounds and has been very successful at his newly found weight class. He's 9-3 as a middleweight, and he's won five of his last six. It also could easily be argued that he deserved to win his fight versus Chael Sonnen at UFC on Fox 2 in chicago, Ill., on Jan. 28, 2012.

In his most recent fight, "The Count" used well timed takedowns and precision striking to earn a unanimous decision win over Brian Stann at UFC 152 in Toronto, Ontario on Sept. 22, 2012. It was a fight that some considered to possibly be a number one contender eliminator bout. However, after Bisping failed to deliver the fireworks that UFC President Dana White seems to look for in a win by a title contender, he received no confirmation that was any closer to a championship fight with Anderson Silva than he had been before the fight.

After his UFC 152 win, Bisping was interviewed by AXS TV's Ron Kruck, where he discussed his victory, his future prospects and why he thinks he should be ahead of Chris Weidman in the race to fight "The Spider" next.

Here's what he had to say:

"It was definitely a solid win over a highly ranked opponent that people have high respect for. With respect, it looks Brian was pretty nicely marked up. He doesn't need to buy a mask for Halloween, this year. Whereas, I'm still as pretty as ever. There's not a mark on me. Is it the fight that blows people away and makes them say, 'Whoa! This guy needs to fight for the title?' I'm not sure. Listen, I went toe-to-toe with Brian Stann, and I beat him. I have the utmost respect for Brian. It was an absolute honor and pleasure to promote this fight with him, and I wish him all the best."

Bisping went on to say that he was told by UFC matchmaker Joe Silva that a title fight was possible, assuming that he was able to win convincingly.

The boisterous Brit isn't sure if he was able to impress the UFC brass to the point of giving him his long sought after title fight, but he feels he did his job to the best of his ability:

"There was talk of it. Before the fight between Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre was spoken of, Joe Silva said that if I put on a striking clinic and did a good job against Brian Stann, that a title fight with Anderson Silva was something they could sell. Whether it's my turn next or my turn in two years, I'm gonna keep training."

To the people championing the cause for Weidman to be next in line to fight Silva, Bisping would say that he understands the desire to see the fight put together, he just doesn't think the timing is right.

He also stated that, although it is his preference to fight Anderson Silva next, he's absolutely willing to fight Weidman if his bosses decide that's what needs to happen:

"I was doing this when Chris Weidman was probably getting bullied out of his lunch money in school. He's undefeated, but he's only had nine fights. Listen, the guy's an incredible talent, and he's a great prospect, but he's still young in his career. Weidman's got the youth and potential and all the tools to have a great career. I've got nothing against Chris Weidman. It certainly seems that I do, because of I've been talking a lot of trash about him. I'm just trying to sell myself. I'm trying to provide for myself, and Chris Weidman's a competitor against me. I wish him all the best. But, I think I deserve it, and my time's now. If I've gotta fight Chris Weidman in the meantime? So be it."

Unfortunately, Weidman is locked up with a bout versus Tim Boetsch at UFC 155 in Las Vegas, Nevada on Dec. 29, 2012. However, if he were to be pulled out of that fight to take on Bisping, it wouldn't be the first time the UFC had played "musical chairs" with a fight card, in order to please its many fans.

What say you, Maniacs? Who should Bisping fight next? Do you want to see him take on Weidman instead of Boetsch, or is that totally unfair to "The Barbarian?"

Sound off!

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