It looks like Michael Bisping is taking a page out of the Conor McGregor playbook and insisting that his next fight be the biggest money fight possible. The British middleweight champion was set to fight #1 contender and all around beast Yoel Romero next, but knee surgery has since put him on the sidelines til May. And he's making it clear now that Romero isn't the guy he wants to fight when he returns. Via Champion.co:
“I want the biggest fight I can get. I don’t mind facing No. 1 contenders but at this stage of my career I’ve fought the best guys forever. I want the biggest fight it can possibly be. By biggest, I mean the biggest money generating fight I can possibly have. I feel I deserve that. I’ve earned that. So whether that’s Yoel Romero, then great. But if it ain’t Yoel Romero, if it’s Anderson Silva, great. I know he’s piped up again lately. If it’s GSP [Georges St-Pierre]- I don’t care who the opponent is. I’m not bothered by any opponent. I am the champion of the world and I will take on all comers, but I want the biggest fight possible.”
There's something pretty contradictory about saying "I will take on all comers!" followed immediately by "I want the biggest fights possible!" The champion's job is to take on number one contenders, not cherry pick the biggest fights. Georges St. Pierre understood that ... back when he was talking about returning, he said he wasn't interested in the belt because he wanted more leeway when it came to picking his opponents.
But Bisping and this new crop of champions seem to have it the other way around, as if having the belt gives them leverage with the UFC. And who knows, in this new WME-IMG era with big dollar payments being owed to the banks that facilitated the organization's $4.3 billion sale, maybe it's a case of twisting their rubber arms?
All we know is this isn't going to help the perception that Bisping is only injured when a superfight isn't up for offer. He offered to fight GSP in Toronto for UFC 206, then developed an orbital injury once it was clear St. Pierre wasn't coming back. The UFC decided to put Bisping against Romero, and Bisping decided to have knee surgery. I guess we can't really blame fighters for looking out for themselves, but fans are doing the same by demanding champions take on number one contenders.