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UFC London fight card primer: Anderson Silva vs. Michael Bisping

Bloody Elbow presents a preview of UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs Silva in our fight card primer series. Here, we look at the main event between Anderson Silva and Michael Bisping.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

In the main event of UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Silva, former long-time UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (33-6 MMA, 16-2 UFC) will be facing off against UK MMA pioneer Michael "The Count" Bisping (27-7 MMA, 17-7 UFC). This five round non-title fight will act as a good litmus test for both of the ageing middleweight contenders, with the winner moving forward towards one final run at Luke Rockhold's middleweight title. The UFC rankings have Anderson Silva at #5 and Bisping at #7. UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Silva airs live from London, England. The main card airs on Fight Pass with a fight time of 4:00 p.m. ET, with the prelims starting at 12:45 p.m. ET on Fight Pass.

This is an interesting fight that really should have happened years ago. Like Bisping, a number of Anderson Silva's formative fights took place in London. It was during Anderson Silva's Cage Rage tenure that the Brazilian really began to show his full potential. Michael Bisping seemed to be on the cusp of a title shot throughout Silva's legendary title tenure, but the Brit repeatedly faltered at the final hurdle. Will we see a vintage performance from Silva? Will Bisping score a famous victory? Only time will tell.

How do these two stack up?

Silva: 40 years old | 6'2" | 77.5" reach
Bisping: 36 years old | 6'1" | 75" reach

What have these two done recently?

Silva: NC - Nick Diaz (Originally UD Victory) | L- Chris Weidman (TKO) | L - Chris Weidman (KO)
Bisping: W - Thales Leites (SD) | W - CB Dollaway (UD) | L - Luke Rockhold (SUB)

How did these two get here?

The fall of Anderson Silva has almost as spectacular as his rise to prominence was. Since getting knocked out by Chris Weidman at UFC 162, Anderson's aura of invincibility has been wiped off, and following his career-threatening injury in their rematch, many thought Anderson's days of dominance were over. In Silva's last time out he looked comfortable and won a dominant decision victory against Nick Diaz, but failed out-of-competition and post-fight drug tests, resulting in a 1 year suspension.

It is a mystery how Michael Bisping has never fought for a UFC title. As a consummate company man, Bisping has faced all comers and defeated a laundry list of middleweight stars, but never quite reached a title shot. Over the years, Bisping has done more than enough to deserve a shot, but has been overlooked on a number of occasions. With a win over Silva, Bisping should yet again be in the title discussion, especially when you consider his two previous wins against CB Dollaway and Thales Leites.

Why should you care?

This fight is a decade in the making and is bound to provide fireworks.