UFC Middleweight Michael Bisping is coming off what was arguable the biggest win of his career so far. At UFC 152, the Brit picked up a unanimous decision over Brian Stann, earning his first ever top 10 win. He'll get a chance to make it a habit at UFC On FX 7 in January when he faces Vitor Belfort.
Wednesday afternoon on The MMA Hour, Ariel Helwani talked to Bisping about his title aspirations and where he sits in the division:
Listen, would I like to fight for the title? Of course I would. But that opportunity hasn't been presented. By all accounts, I think Anderson Silva is probably going to be fighting GSP, if GSP beats Condit next. Yeah, a lot of people want me to fight for the title, but as I said that opportunity isn't there right now. I want to continue fighting. The more I fight, the better I get. The more time I spend in a training camp, the more I improve. I want to fight the best guys out there,
Bisping went on to say that although the situation is frustrating, he understands how big the super fight would be for the UFC. Regardless of that potential fight, Bisping sees his fight with Belfort could solidify his position at the top of the division:
If I beat Vitor Belfort, I think there's no question that I'm the No. 1 contender. And I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is. I think I deserve it. If I beat Vitor, I deserve it. If I don't beat him, then I don't deserve to be in a title fight anyway.
Fellow 185er Chris Weidman probably disagrees with him here. Since knocking out top middleweight Mark Munoz at UFC On Fuel TV 4, Weidman has been campaigning hard for a title shot of his own. That win gave him possibly the most impressive record in the division with two consecutive top 10 victories. However, he's been hamstrung by the lack of visibility of what should have been a star making moment.
There's also a real possibility that neither Bisping's fight against Vitor nor Weidman vs. Tim Boetsch at UFC 155 will determine the next contender. If the Silva/GSP fight does happen, it may be that the winner of those two fights face each other in the meantime. If that's the way it plays out, there'd be no doubt about who should be the next contender.