Can Michael Bisping get your respect now?
There once was a time where "The Count" was on everyone's call out list for the sheer fact that many didn't feel the brash Brit posed any problems for them. In other words, everyone thought he was an easy out.
Boy have times changed...somewhat.
Yes, Bisping is still on everyone's radar -- perhaps even more now that he's the champion -- but the Middleweight king has proven over the the last few years that he isn't one to be taken lightly. His last three victories have come over the cream of the crop, beginning with his win over Anderson Silva earlier this year. Granted, it was controversial, but Michael managed to squeak by with the "W."
Then came the fight the put him over the top, knocking out Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 to claim the 185-pound title in impressive fashion (see it). And after retaining the title in his memorable, five-round war against Henderson in the main event of last night's (Sat., Oct. 8, 2016) UFC 204 event in Manchester, England (see it), and Bisping is now sitting on top of the world.
The win showed the fight world that Bisping can take a licking and keep on ticking, surviving a couple of early knockdowns from the hard-hitting legend, showing his resiliency and bouncing back up, wiping the blood away to keep going.
Furthermore, the victory now takes a huge monkey off his back, as he -- whether he wants to admit it or not -- has been carrying the knockout loss to "Hendo" at UFC 100 with him or the past seven years. Now that he has redemption, it's time to march forward, as the job of a champion is never done.
Now, he has a bevy of young and title-starved contenders such as Chris Weidman, Yoel Romero, Ronaldo Souza, Luke Rockhold and even Gegard Mousasi looking to get their turn. But, Bisping is more than ready for the task, and he needs to be, as his next challenge won't be against a fighter that is on his way out.
Anyone care to guess who will get next dibs?
For complete UFC 204 "Bisping vs. Henderson 2" results, including play-by-play updates, click here.