Michael Bisping was finished for just the second time in his 28-fight professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career last night (Jan. 19, 2013) in the UFC on FX 7 main event from the Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
It wasn't anything like his first in terms of sheer, jaw-dropping shock value -- an all-time epic knockout loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 100 back in 2009 -- but his defeat at the hands (and foot) of Vitor Belfort (watch video highlights here) will have similar ramifications on his fight future. Specifically, Bisping has whiffed on another opportunity to establish himself as the No. 1 Middleweight contender and earn the 185-pound title shot that has alluded him since his divisional debut five years ago.
The third time for Bisping was certainly not the charm. And he was not about to make any excuses for coming up short once again.
"I have no excuses," Bisping said in his UFC on FX 7 post-fight speech. "I had a fantastic training camp, and I felt very confident that I was going to win this fight. It was a beautiful kick. He caught me. Listen, he was a better man than me tonight."
Throughout his most recent rise to the top of the division, Bisping had gone from a reviled Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)-manufactured star to a likeable, funny and viable contender. Sure, the Bisping Hate Club will still have strong membership regardless of his exploits inside the Octagon, but it was safe to say he was beginning to finally turn the corner, warming up to fight fans who previously couldn't tolerate his shtick.
In the wake of his most recent loss, it would appear that Bisping's surging popularity is the silver lining in an otherwise devastating result. One from which the 33-year-old promises to rebound again and climb his way back to the top of the contender ladder.
"You win some, you lose some," he said. "I am not going away. Trust me, I'll be back at the top of this pile before you fucking know it."
The good news is that UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva intends to stick around for possibly 10 more fights (maybe), which would -- in theory -- give "The Count" more than enough time to try and stop serving as the Sisyphus of the division.