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Fightweets: Where does Michael Bisping go from here?

Esther Lin

Even after a defeat -- and a one-sided one at that -- Michael Bisping remains one of MMA's most compelling characters.

I know this because even after his loss to Tim Kennedy on Wednesday night at the TUF Nations Finale in Quebec City, I got more tweets asking about the brash British middleweight than anything else on this week's radar. That includes Kennedy, Jake Shields signing with World Series of Fighting, that Jon Jones thing, and others.

So without further ado, then, let's get started with another edition of Fightweets.

All things Bisping

@kalamity113: So what makes sense for Bisping now? Not Rockhold, not Jacare, maybe Carmont??

A step backwards in level of competition is in order. I think even Bisping's biggest detractors will admit that he has never backed down from a challenge. If Joe Silva called him tomorrow and offered a fight with Chris Weidman next week, Bisping would probably accept. But against Kennedy, who pretty much everyone in the business slept on over the past couple years, Bisping looked like exactly what he was, a fighter in his mid-30s who had been out for a full year after a serious eye injury.

Credit Bisping for his fearlessness and willingness to take on anyone who will come at him. But if he's going to make one more big run in his career, having him step back and fight someone outside the top 10 and then working his way back up would seem more prudent in the long run than simply facing another top 10 guy for its own sake.

@Joeburgers: Will the Bisping loss lead to less or even MORE fighters calling him out?

Probably more, at least among those guys looking to make their name. Calling Bisping out got Jorge Rivera the biggest spotlight of his career, even if it didn't exactly do wonders for him in the long run. And it helped elevate Kennedy. So it's been proven if you want to make a name for yourself, and you catch Bisping in the right mood, you can get his attention. So yeah, I wouldn't be surprised at all if when the time comes for Bisping to fight again (this is assuming, incidentally, that his eye really is okay, and we haven't really heard anything in that regard yet), someone comes out of the woodwork and baits him into a fight.

@ryanjfrederick: If Anderson Silva returns, does him vs. Michael Bisping make sense now?

You know, this idea is nutty enough that it just might work. Assuming all the usual things that we need to assume here: That Silva will ever return to action, period, and that if he does, the timing would be right for a Bisping fight, I mean, why not?

Yes, in his prime, Silva probably would have knocked Bisping's head off. But we don't know if Silva can be the same fighter he once was, or even a reasonable facsimile thereof, and won't until if and when he returns and makes a go of it. Silva's return, should it happen, will do blockbuster business regardless of who he is fighting, but Bisping's fight-selling abilities would boost it into the stratosphere. That's some decent out-of-the-box thinking there, ryanjfrederick.

While we're at it, what's next for Kennedy?

@bryanMdoud: What'd ya rather see - Kennedy vs Rockhold or Jacare

You really can't go wrong with either of these, can you? With Vitor Belfort out of the middleweight picture, Weidman set to face Lyoto Machida, Mark Munoz set to fight Gegard Mousasi on May 31, and Bisping in Kennedy's rear-view mirror, there aren't a whole lot of other options which make sense for Kennedy.

Of course, should Luke Rockhold get past Tim Boetsch next week, the other option among former Strikeforce fighters would be Rockhold vs. Jacare. If you're making a fight between two of these three, somewhere along the way you're going to have to ask one of them to take a rematch with someone they already beat.

Short of throwing them all together in a triple threat match, it's really a coin flip of a scenario picking which Strikeforce rematch to make, and win-win for the fans regardless of how it pans out.

Jones vs. Teixeira

@dpop2: Do ppl really think Glover stands a chance? He been rocked a few times in his fights. His chin should b questioned not jones

I think the chances of Glover Teixeira beating Jon Jones are about the same as the chances a hacker would break into Jones' phone and, instead of going into his contacts to find Dana White's number, or perusing his photos to find something embarrassing, or going on to Jones' Facebook or Twitter and make a post, would instead attack some random kid who trolled him on Instagram.

Sure, that could happen. Just like Teixeira could finish Jones, since, after all, Teixeira hits with the power of a runaway 18-wheeler. But Teixeira is also pretty much a straight-ahead fighter and often turns into a stationary target, the type of guy who isn't afraid to wade through a few shots to land the big one. And that's exactly the type of fighter Jones eats for breakfast. No doubt Teixeira could drop Jones, but more likely Jones just toys with him before finishing them off. Then hopefully stays off Instagram for awhile.

@IvanLSarabia: What's next for Poirier? TKZ rematch would be awesome, but winner of Swanson/Stephens maybe more realistic?

Good question. I don't doubt Dustin Poirier would take a Chan Sung Jung rematch in a heartbeat if he was offered a make-good on the 2012 Fight of the Year. But I think they're better off keeping Poirier on a slow-but-steady track. Poirier's a potential champion, but he's still got a fair bit of work to do. His victory over Akira Corassani on Wednesday was exciting in part because of the way Poirier recklessly waded into Corassani's range. Poirier was able to shake off early trouble and defeat Corassani, but if he does the same against Jose Aldo or Chad Mendes, he's going to get mauled. Considering that the winner of Swanson vs. Stephens is likely to figure high in the title mix, maybe the loser of that fight would be a better bet for Poirier.

Quebec attendance

@reaubair: Don't underestimate the side effects of Dana White s--- on GSP. I'm still a MMA fan but I won't pay a penny to UFC

Umm, that tweet's not really a question, Raubair, but hey, we'll let it slide. There are a lot of plausible reasons why the TUF Nations Finale in Quebec City appeared to have been conducted after a bomb-scare evacuation (for the record, the official attendance figure released was 5,029): It was a Wednesday night. It was a Wednesday night in Canada on the opening night of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It was a Wednesday night on the opening night of the Stanley Cup playoffs not just in Canada, but specifically Quebec, head-to-head with the Montreal Canadiens (if you're a hockey hater/ignorer, imagine if the Dallas Cowboys were the only pro sports team in Texas, and this was the first round of the NFL playoffs, and that's roughly what the Canadiens in the playoffs are in Quebec)(Also, as a Boston Bruins fan, I feel compelled to point out that Kurt Cobain was still alive the last time the Habs won the Cup. But I digress). On top of all that, those who did show up, in French Canada, were given an American war hero vs. an arrogant Brit as a main-event storyline.

But you do have to wonder if there's something to the idea the Dana White may have done lasting damage to the brand in French Canada by badmouthing one of the province's sporting heroes. All the reasons listed in the previous paragraph are valid reasons for Wednesday's turnout. But the truth will be told when the company returns to Montreal in December. If the fans aren't back by then, then you may be on to something, Reaubair.

World Series of Welterweight Fighting

@RuckerYeah: Jake Shields to WSOF, a good move?

Absolutely. By adding Shields to the mix, the WSOF welterweight division now rivals Bellator's lightweights for the title of "most interesting weight class outside the UFC" (Invicta's strawweights were in that discussion as well, until Zuffa basically bought the division).

You've now got a WSOF 170 class which includes Shields, Jon Fitch, Steve Carl, and Josh Burkman. And lest we forget the nutty king wearing the crown, Rousimar Palhares, whose fights are destination programming, since you never know what's going to happen next.

With hindsight's 20/20 benefit, you know who didn't make a good move? Ben Askren. Askren could have put himself right into this mix, but instead chose to go fight halfway around the world at hours when no one back home will be watching. Good on OneFC for making something of themselves in the Asian market, but their cards simply aren't the sort of "rearrange your sleep pattern" events PRIDE cards were during their heyday for so many MMA fans. Askren's fight videos may as well serve as how-to videos on dominating with wrestling in MMA, but his out of the ring career moves seem instructional in the how-not-to sense.


@ElCujorino: If Junior Dos Santos crushes the HW division and can't beat Cain what does the UFC do with him?

Let's take this one step at a time there, eh, tiger? Junior dos Santos absorbed nearly 10 rounds of Cain Velasquez at his nastiest. The second time around (well, third time, but you know what I mean), it was the type of beating that had you screaming at your television for the corner, the doctor, anyone to stop the damn fight. Fighters don't always come back from such beatings as the fighters they used to be -- see David Loiseau's career before and after his Rich Franklin fight -- so let's see how JDS does against Stipe Miocic before we ponder what happens if he cleans out the rest of the division.


@TheBMartin: Did Sam Stout try to get you in a choke today?

Either that or the deputy sports editor of the LA Daily News is tweeting me about Sam Stout.

Got a question for a future edition of Fightweets? Go to my Twitter page and leave me a tweet.

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