Michael Bisping still can’t seem to get the complete respect of his fellow peers.
After knocking out Luke Rockhold in the very first round at UFC 199 a few months ago to capture the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight belt (video replay here), not everyone is sold on "The Count" actually being championship material.
Chief among them is ex-division kingpin Chris Weidman, who took to The MMA Hour to say it’s embarrassing when he has to tell people that Bisping reigns supreme at 185 pounds.
"There’s a chance he’s beating Dan Henderson, but I don’t think there’s much of a chance he’s beating anyone else in the top five. There is a chance he will win and hold the belt. It’s surreal when people ask me who the champion is in my weight class and I have to say Michael Bisping. It’s a little embarrassing, but, it’s the way it goes. Honestly, all power to him, he went out there on short notice and knocked out Luke Rockhold in the first round. More power to him. I just don’t think he is the best champion we’ve seen. I just never thought he was championship material, to be honest with you. It was far-fetched for him to get a title shot, he was at the right place, right time when I got injured and he had the opportunity to step up and win the belt. He made it work, but, before that, he was in the UFC for how long and he never fought for the belt. So for him to fight for the belt and become champion, it’s definitely a weird thing to let soak in."
Sure, Bisping got the title fight due to unforeseen circumstances — see them here — but prior to sending Luke packing, the brash Brit was riding a three fight win streak including a victory over Anderson Silva.
Nevertheless, "All American" says Bisping should savor every second of being champion since his ride will soon come to an end.
"The Count’s" first challenge will be to defend his strap in front of his hometown crowd when he faces Dan Henderson in the main event of UFC 204 on Oct. 8, 2016 in Manchester, England.
For more on that title fight click here.