According to Michael “The Count” Bisping, the UFC’s top brass have promised him a title shot if he decisively beats former U.S. Marine Brian Stann at UFC 152.
"I've been told if I beat him [Stann] - and beat him well - I'll get a title shot. But I haven't gotten it in writing, so it probably doesn't mean anything,” Bisping said, via ESPN.
The 33-year-old Bisping has been plying his trade in the Zuffa-based promotion for almost six years. And although he’s more or less always featured in the 185-pound top-10 rankings, he’s never had a shot at the Holy Grail.
That said, an opportunity did arise in the guise of Chael Sonnen. At UFC on FOX 2, in an eliminator bout, both combatants contested the right to face off against the division’s perennial titlist, Anderson Silva. It was not to be, as Bisping, to his chagrin, came up short.
Nevertheless, some observers watching the match believed he should’ve taken home the unanimous decision.
For Bisping, that’s as good as it has gotten.
Hector Lombard is scheduled to lock horns with Tim Boetsch at UFC 149. If he wins impressively, it’s more than likely he’ll get the next shot at the middleweight championship.
When the aforementioned situation was posed to Bisping, he wasn’t impressed in the least, citing Lombard's shortcomings:
People are saying he's going to be next for Anderson Silva? Come on. There's just no way he can fight Anderson Silva, because Silva's game is to use range. I think it will be a terrible match-up for Hector Lombard. He'll never get near him.
With regards to a potential title tilt, Bisping (22-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) is of the impression that he can make things extremely difficult for “The Spider”:
Every time I watch him fight, I think he always looks mortal if you will. He always looks beatable. That's the good thing about a champion: they find a way to win. Regardless of how bad the fight goes, how it ends is the important thing. Anderson always comes out the winner. My hat is off to him, but I see holes in his game.
Although, if he should get past Stann and the title shot he alluded to is endorsed by the UFC, Bisping believes the fight won’t be staged in his native England.
“It would be my dream to fight in England," he said, "but we don't have the pay-per-view culture in England. It's as simple as that.”