It's all over!
Perennial Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Michael Bisping faced his stiffest test to date when he took on Vitor Belfort earlier this evening (Jan. 19, 2013) in the main event of UFC on FX 7, which emanated from the Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
And that test was one he failed miserably.
Bisping was knocked out in the second stanza when "The Phenom" went high with a leg kick, cracking the "Count's" cranium and ending his quest for a 185-pound title shot against Anderson Silva, who was sitting cageside in case of an impromptu call out.
It never came.
That's because "The Spider" already devoured Belfort in their 2011 headliner and judging by his post-fight interview, the former heavyweight and light heavyweight kingpin would prefer a rematch against Jon Jones, who is currently tethered to Chael Sonnen until April.
Looks like Silva's vacation just got a little bit longer (see where he went here).
In defeat, Bisping has no choice but to head to the back of the line. In addition to losing to Belfort, he was also beaten by Sonnen at UFC on FOX 2, which marks two high-profile defeats to former division number one contenders in the span of twelve months.
UFC matchmaker Joe Silva will definitely have his work cut out for him, as will the middle-of-the-packers trying to break into the division's top five. Despite his recent struggles, Bisping is still a tough out for any fighter, something Brian Stann and Jason Miller learned when they took turns last year doing the British dance.
To his credit, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 3 champion made no excuses for his loss, but with the recent influx of top Strikeforce fighters (see the full list here) like Ronaldo Souza, Tim Kennedy and former 185-pound titleholder Luke Rockhold, don't "Count" on seeing him "in the mix" anytime soon.
And with another loss to a marquee name, perhaps ever.
Alright fight fans, the middleweight tide has just come in and it's cloudier than ever. Do we start to look at Hector Lombard and Chris Weidman as the next "ones to watch?" And who do you give Bisping in his first fight back? Lots to sort out here, Maniacs, let's hear what you've got.
For all the UFC on FX 7 results including our live updates and play-by-play click here. To get in on all the post-fight conversations head over to our "Belfort vs. Bisping" results stream featuring recaps, videos, fallout and more by clicking here.