Michael Bisping told to 'call the UFC and book a fight', would like top five opponent

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Michael Bisping has not fought since April due to a detached retina. Now on the mend, he's looking for a top five opponent when he makes his return in March or April 2014.

The saga of UFC middleweight Michael Bisping's detached retina appears to be coming to an end.

Bisping's problems began back in May when doctors discovered that the vision problems he was experiencing in his right eye were related to a detached retina. To hear Bisping tell it, he actually fought Vitor Belfort in January and Alan Belcher in April with the detached retina before undergoing surgery to repair the issue in May.

Following the surgery, Bisping was cleared to train. He was then booked to face Mark Munoz in the main event of UFC Fight Night 30 on October 26. That fight never happened because Bisping's surgically repaired retina had re-detached, and he was forced to undergo a second surgery.

Since that surgery, which took place in late September, Bisping has been on the mend.

Bisping, the No. 4 ranked middleweight in the UFC appeared on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight to give an update on his status:

I was at the doctor's this morning, and they've given me the green light to start properly training again. I've been running and lifting weights for a while. Now I can get back in the MMA gyms to work on a few things. He actually said, ‘call the UFC and book a fight. You're definitely going to be able to fight around March or April of next year.'

Bisping has always been a popular call out target in the 185-pound division. The newest addition to the list of fighters looking to step into the Octagon against Bisping over the years is Tim Kennedy. Bisping had the following to say about Kennedy's attempts to bait him into a fight:

I'll say that there's been Tim Kennedy chomping at the bit trying to make a name for himself. He's come over from the now defunct Strikeforce. He's had a couple wins against people that I've never heard of, and he's trying to get some notoriety.

Of course, people like to call me out, so I'm no stranger to that. Good for him, I wish him all the best. He had a great knockout in his last fight. He wants to fight me. I've never turned down an opponent once, and I'm certainly not going to start with Tim Kennedy. If that's who the UFC want me to fight, I'll happily fight him.

Personally, I'd like someone a little higher up the ladder, someone in the top five maybe, but it's down to the UFC.

At this point, the four other fighters in the top five are Anderson Silva (No. 1), Vitor Belfort (No. 2), Jacare Souza (No. 3), and Lyoto Machida (No. 5). Kennedy is ranked at No. 10, debuting in the rankings after his Knockout of the Night victory over Rafael Natal at UFC Fight for the Troops 3 on November 6.

If Bisping is able to return to the Octagon in March, odds are good that the UFC will look to book him on the March 8 UFC Fight Night card that is scheduled for London's O2 Arena.

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