Michael Bisping stated in an interview with Jon Anik that he would consider his career a failure if he did not get the opportunity to fight for the title and thus far this opportunity has evaded him. Although having a great career and solidifying his position within the best MMA corporation on the planet it will all be for nothing if he does not compete for the title. We have previously seen him be at fault in big fights none more so than the Dan Henderson fight which is a knockout that will haunt him for the rest of his career, for the life of me to this day I still have no idea why he chose to constantly circle towards Hendo’s right hand. In another big fight he let Wanderlei Silva throw crazy whirlwind combinations, inevitably this lead to a lasting impression being left at the end of each round. Seeing Bisping in a No.1 Contender fight is like seeing Kenny Florian in a title fight, for some reason it’s like the pressure gets them and they wilt. But this time round is ‘The count’ in better physical condition and more importantly is he approaching it better psychologically.Might we finally get the chance to see ‘The Count’ enter the cage with the Middleweight Champ Anderson Silva, only one thing stands in his way and it’s no easy task. Vitor Belfort a man with incredible hand speed backed up with the power to put most if not all the fighters on the UFC roster to sleep, not to mention his Black belt in both Judo and BJJ.
If not for a dubious decision in the Sonnen fight ‘The Count’ would now be on a 6 fight win streak in a very unforgiving weight division. Instead of wasting time moaning about the judges call he was straight back to training for his next fight, sticking true to his nature Bisping went about his business as a company man for the UFC and won in what I thought was relatively convincing fashion against a very tough opponent in Brian Stann. Following this win he has been put in a number 1 Contender fight with Belfort. Which for fight fans is a great match up with both parties bringing a lot to the table. Negating the speed of Belfort is Michael Bispings number one priority because with that speed comes knockout power in both hands. He needs to get in with a combination and get back out quickly, circling immediately away from the power, if he maintains the work rate he is renowned for, ‘The Phenom’ should tire considerably making the later rounds the opportune moment for Bisping to go for the finish. If the Lancashire man has learned anything from the Jon Jones fight it is to stay out of the BJJ black belts guard. I have no doubt if he follows a very strict game plan he will walk away with the win and a shot at the title.
Unfortunately even the biggest of Bisping fans don’t really know what he is going to attempt when he gets in the cage with an all together different beast in Anderson Silva but I am almost certain it will be more entertaining than Griffin being jabbed unconscious or Meia looking like a deer caught in headlights. A perennial top ten fighter such as Bisping who has put in his groundwork has often been overlooked or fallen at the last hurdle now has the opportunity to reap the benefits.
Come Saturday 19th January, does Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping Secure a title shot? In a word, Yes!