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Manager: Michael Bisping intrigued by Nick Diaz fight, but wants title shot

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Nick Diaz poked fun of Michael Bisping last month after Bisping's win over Anderson Silva. The popular Stockton, Calif., bad boy didn't seem to think Bisping's victory was on the up and up, sharing a meme about it on Instagram.

It didn't take long for Bisping to fire back, of course, telling Diaz on Twitter that he'd be down to fight him when his drug suspension is up.

The back and forth was an entertaining social media side note following Bisping's unanimous decision over Silva at UFC Fight Night 84 in London. And Bisping is definitely interested in taking on Diaz down the line. But "The Count" has designs on a title shot after beating the former UFC middleweight champion, according to his manager Audie Attar.

"Nick Diaz is definitely calling him out and that sounds enticing and I think that would be an amazing matchup," Attar told MMA Fighting. "But for Mike and what he's done in the sport, he's earned the right to say, 'I want the winner of Rockhold and Weidman.' I think that's what he's doing."

Rockhold will make his first title defense against the man he beat for the middleweight belt, Chris Weidman, in the main event of UFC 199 on June 4 in Los Angeles. Bisping has a history with Rockhold and not a good one. Rockhold defeated Bisping by second-round submission in November 2014. But the Englishman has won three straight since then and Silva is by far the biggest victory of his career. His team believes it's time for that title opportunity that he has not gotten in 10 years as a UFC fighter.

"Mike has always gotten right to that point before he gets a title shot," Attar said. "For one reason or another, it didn't go his way. A lot of times against cheaters. In this case, he won. He finally got it done and got it done against arguably the [greatest of all time] of the sport at this time."

If Weidman wins, it would present a quandary for Attar and his Paradigm Sports Management firm. It would make for a more sensible path for Bisping to get a title shot, but Weidman is also represented by Paradigm. Attar said all he could do at that point would be to "pray for no injuries."

"It would just be a night filled with jitters and anxiety," he said. "You want to see the best competition possible, but you don't want to see anybody get hurt."

As for Diaz, he will be able to return to the Octagon at the end of July after serving an 18-month suspension for failing a marijuana test for the third time in Nevada. Bisping vs. Diaz would be a heck of a backup plan, but Bisping's first priority right now is the winner of Rockhold-Weidman and the title shot.

"He hears Nick Diaz," Attar said. "He thinks that would be a fun, exciting fight. The fans would like to see that, but it's his time now. I think for Mike right now, he wants a title shot. He's earned that in his career."