Michael Bisping's pleas have finally been heard.
After years of asking for a title match, it appears that the Brit has only one more roadblock in front of him. He needs to get past Vitor Belfort at January 19's UFC on FX 7 event. If he does that, according to UFC president Dana White, he'll be the next man to draw middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
"If Bisping wins, he’ll get the shot," White said in the aftermath of UFC 155.
That leaves only Chris Weidman as a higher-ranked 185-pounder than Bisping, but Weidman is still recovering from a shoulder injury, leaving Bisping with a golden opportunity.
It won't be his first high-pressure match. Back at UFC 100, Bisping likely could have earned a title bout with a win over Dan Henderson, but instead, he was knocked out for the only time in his career.
Bisping (23-4) has been of the UFC's most durable pieces since he debuted in the promotion following a stint on the third season of The Ultimate Fighter. He's fought 17 times for the organization, going 13-4. That's the most wins anyone's ever piled up in the organization without earning a title bout.
Bisping's on one of his best career runs, having won five of his last six with his lone loss a disputed split-decision to Chael Sonnen in January.
He's currently a slight underdog to Belfort (21-7) in a fight that he must win on Belfort's home turf in Brazil.