People don’t like Michael Bisping. He’s arrogant, abrasive, delusional, and has never beaten an opponent who mattered.
Don’t tell him that though. He honestly believes he should be next in line to fight Anderson Silva. This, despite facing a tough test in Brian Stann in September and fresh off a loss to Chael Sonnen in January.
He’s also lost to a zombified Wanderlei Silva, suffered the most memorable knockout in history at the hands of Dan Henderson, and looked to be in more trouble than he thought likely before illegally kneeing his way to victory over Jorge Rivera. Jorge Rivera.
Make no mistake however, Michael Bisping is actually pretty capable in the cage. He can’t be faulted for the guys the UFC puts in front of him, all he can do is fight them and try to win. Losing is part of the game, and more often than not Bisping acquits himself pretty well.
So why don’t people respect him? Why are his claims of title glory almost always dismissed before he finishes the idiotic tweet peddling his abilities?
Aside from all listed above—awful personality, ignorance to the reality that he’s been beaten up by a few guys, lack of a signature win—there’s one big thing: he doesn’t know how to call the champion out properly.
Look at the front-runner to get a title shot. Chris Weidman, with less fights in his career than Bisping has wins in the Octagon, has already secured two signature wins this year and then took to calling out Silva.
He’s not sitting around saying how great he is, or making excuses for poor performances, or telling everyone how it should be him because no one else matters and he’s been around the longest. Weidman is saying, “Let me fight that guy. Let me fight Anderson Silva.”
He’s doing it respectfully, but he’s mentioning the champion by name. He’s mentioning Silva every chance he gets and is telling the world that he’ll go out and beat him.
Another dude who did that? Maybe you’ve heard of him actually. Chael Sonnen? He talked so much (admittedly over the top) vitriol about the champion that he earned the right to fight the guy twice, making himself a millionaire and a household name in the process.
All Bisping does is tell everyone how great he is and make pretty soft excuses for the times his greatness has been proven as a pipe dream. He then says he should get a title shot, but makes no mention of Silva or what he’d do to beat him. For a guy seen by many as nasty and quick tongued, he does a dreadful job of promoting himself.
The UFC has repeatedly proven that getting big fights is equal parts ability and selling power. They don’t want you to say, “I’m awesome, I should be champion.” They want you to say, “I’m better than the champion, and I’m going to beat him up to prove it.”
Astoundingly, Bisping can’t do that. It looks as though he’s seen how it works, because he’s upped his game in terms of vocalizing his wish for a shot at gold, but he sure doesn’t seem to see why those who’ve jumped him in line have done so.
Realistically, Michael Bisping isn’t a bad middleweight. He’s probably in the lower half of the top 10, despite never winning a big fight. Volume has to count for something, and he’s beaten the majority of guys he’s faced.
But a test for Anderson Silva? He most definitely isn’t. And he won’t be any closer to being one with a win over Brian Stann, regardless of how much half-hearted talk he does about going on a march for gold.
Until he gets that, until he gets the mix of results and salesmanship required to challenge for a title, he’ll never be more than a self-indulgent jerk who gets booed everywhere other than England. That can get some respect as a draw if it’s part of a bigger package, but it isn’t enough to do so on its own.