With debates running rampant about whether the count is a massive prick or ... well he's a massive prick. That aside, what is not being discussed nearly enough is whether this win solidifies him among the top contenders in the division or is just another mediocre win over a mediocre fighter. Coming into the fight, Bisping had strung together two straight victories against middle of the pack fighters in the Middleweight division. Already talking about his soon-to-be title shot, Bisping got a little surprise when the UFC brass handed him none other than THE Jorge Rivera. Now that Bisping has finished off this little speed bump, I expect his requests for the belt to come quickly.
But the question is, should and will the UFC honchos give Bisping that coveted title shot, or if not, a #1 contender fight against the likes of Okami (again, poor fella...), Marquardt, Sonnen, Belfort or Maia? I expect the answer to both these questions will be yes.
To determine whether the UFC should give Bisping a shot is to determine whether Bisping will be competitive with any of the top fighters in the division. While people often look at his fights with W.Silva and Dan Henderson as proof that Bisping is not ready for a top contender. To compare his fights with Dan Henderson and W. Silva with potential fights Maia and Okami is like comparing apples and oranges. W. Silva and Dan Henderson both brought something to the fights that Maia, Belfort or Okami may not. That's size and strength. Both natural LHWs, W. Silva and Henderson neutralized Bisping's takedowns and clinches, and forced him to stand with them. That's something I don't think Maia or Belfort would be able to do. Furthermore, while Okami and Sonnen may have the wresling pedigree to give Bisping difficulties, but they do not have the knockout power that Henderson and Silva used to their advantage against him. So while I do not necessarily think Bisping would be a favorite, let alone win a fight against a top contender, I do believe that he is more than capable of putting on an entertaining battle with one.
Now, perhaps more importantly, is the question regarding whether the UFC will grant Bisping his title/#1 contender fight. I think this answer is yes for a few reasons. First, we've seen the UFC give out crazier title shots (does the name Thales Leites even ring a bell anymore?). Second, the UFC would be able to market the hell out of this fight. The Brits love him, the world hates him, if Dana can't make a plot out of this, he should take his billions of dollars to Cuba and retire. Already a mere 24 hours after the fight, we have seen Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen call out Michael Bisping. I would be incredibly surprised if Dana announces a Bisping v. Anyone Other Than Marquardt, Sonnen, Belfort, Okami or Maia fight.
So, what do you think. Is Bisping a prick (yeah...)? Should he get his shot? Will he get a step up in competition?