Michael Bisping is a popular man at the moment. He has no shortage of potential challengers for his next fight, and along with Bisping some of them are stepping up and speaking their minds about him and how great a fight it would be. Bisping said that he will be ready to fight again at the Toronto card in late September, now it will just be a matter of figuring out who offers him the best fight.
It is a testament to Bisping as a self promoter, and a fighter that his name is getting attached to so many quality fighters. There are a lot of fighters out there who could learn a lot about marketing themselves from Bisping. He is a fighter who has floated in the rankings from 5-15 for most of his UFC career, but never earned a title shot, even when the division seemed close to being cleaned out. Despite never having earned that title shot, he has been able to sell out arenas in his home country, and headline cards against fellow mid-level fighters (Leben, Akiyama) while being cheered as a mega star.
See his options after the jump -
After UFC 147, There were a lot of calls around Twitter, and the Web for a fight with Rich Franklin, which would be an amazing fight between two guys looking to work their way towards a title shot. Both guys are Veterans who have been in with some great fighters. Franklin is more accomplished, but at this point in his career a fight with Bisping makes perfect sense. Both men always show up prepared, in shape and ready to bring it everytime they fight.
Alan Belcher -
Bisping himself called out Alan Belcher... " Alan Belcher's somebody that's been calling me out for seems like forever now. To be quite frank I'm sick of it. So, Alan Belcher if your balls are big enough call Joe Silva and let's do it,"
This is another fight that would be near perfect for both men. Belcher is on a four fight winning streak, and both men are ranked highly, so it would be relevant to the MW title picture, and neither man would fall too far down the rankings with a loss.
Bisping also said he would like to fight Brian Stann, who responded with a Tweet accepting the challenge... once again a great match-up, but Stann who is only one fight removed from getting destroyed by Sonnen is farther away from a title shot then Belcher, and does not have the resume of Franklin, so this would not be my first choice for Bisping's next fight, but as I saIf it was made, I would not be complaining too loudly.
Cote is looking to make some noise now that he is back in the UFC, and during the course of an interview called Bisping a "crybaby." Of all the guys listed above, this would be a last option, even if Cote looks great this weekend against Cung Le. This could happen if one of the guys listed above pulls out of the fight
Bisping could also be a potential match-up for the Munoz/Weidman, or Lombard/Boetsch winners. Once again, very compelling fights where the winner could land right into a title shot.
If I had a vote it would be Franklin... but Rich just said he can't remember two rounds of his last fight, so he might not be ready to step back into a camp in time to fight in September. The next choice is Belcher, a fighter on the rise if he is matched with any of the names listed above you are not going to hear me complain too loudly.
All my MMA related thoughts end up here
Who should Bisping fight next?
Rich Franklin (27 votes)
Alan Belcher (38 votes)
Patrick Cote (7 votes)
Munoz/Weidman winner (6 votes)
Lombard/Boetsch winner (14 votes)
Other (13 votes)
105 total votes