Michael Bisping has been around the middleweight division longer than most, and he has always fallen short of a title shot. Recently, Bisping made statements to Heidi Fang of MMA Fight Corner that he had talks with UFC matchmaker Joe Silva in which he discussed some of the implications of his upcoming fight with Brian Stann.
The understanding that Bisping was given was that if he truly dominated and beat Brian Stann in their bout, then he could very well be in a position for a title shot.
A very interesting concept, considering he is coming off of a loss to Chael Sonnen.
The argument is that even though he lost his fight with Sonnen, many feel that he actually won, or did a good enough job to be deserving. But is fighting and beating one guy enough to launch you into a title shot, even when there are others that are on much bigger winning streaks?
Yes, Brian Stann is a great fighter and a great name to have under you belt, but Brian Stann himself is coming off of one win after losing to Chael Sonnen as well.
Typically, unless you are a champ on a big streak in another organization and then come over, you can’t acquire one win and then get a title shot. It would seem that the UFC wants to put Bisping in the cage with reigning champ Anderson Silva off of more than just ranking statistics.
Bisping has had a 14-fight win streak, followed by another three-fight win streak and then a four-fight win streak, prior to his recent loss. If Bisping wasn’t deserving after getting multiple finishes in each of the streaks before, it seems interesting that he would get a title shot after only one win.
Hypothetically, say Bisping beats Stann and completely dominates him, Bisping will still have only one win and one loss, which is far less impressive than his previous accomplishments.
The UFC is a business, and they call the shots, no pun intended. So is it the attractiveness of a potential matchup that is fueling this?
The name of the game is the “name game.” In the UFC, it has been common that the value assigned to a fighter’s name sometimes hold greater importance over statistics. For example, if Bisping were fighting Alan Belcher next and won, it may not carry the same weight to the UFC brass as beating Brian Stann, even though Belcher is on a four-fight winning streak.
The UFC has shown that they do this with the bantamweights before, like Urijah Faber. Faber lost a unanimous decision to champ Dominick Cruz, and then was told if he beat Brian Bowles, he would get another title shot. After beating him, he was going to face him after TUF season, but due to injury, Cruz had to withdraw.
They also did this with Lyoto Machida. Machida was on a two-fight losing streak, but came back and beat Randy Couture (who then retired) and was given an immediate title shot.
After being brutally submitted and losing to champ Jon Jones, Machida recently beat Ryan Bader to earn himself yet another title shot. The inconsistency in the UFC with title shots can get frustrating at times but are justifiable to some extent.
With Bisping, it seems that his tenure and rowdy personality, paired with a good win over Stann, is what it comes down to. Bisping has been calling out Silva for a long time but has come up short of getting to the actual fight. Trying to save himself from gatekeeper status, Bisping feels he must be paid his dues and has done the work to be deserving in the situation he is currently in.
Bisping and Silva had their UFC debuts in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Both men have been around, and Bisping is the only man left standing that hasn’t been beaten by “The Spider.”
From a general standpoint, Silva has cleaned out his division. But to truly say that, he must beat one more man, and that is Michael “The Count” Bisping. While Bisping does respect Silva’s abilities, trash talk would inevitably ensue from the challenger, and his eagerness to go out and fight would certainly make for a great matchup.
But will Bisping ever get there? And do you think he deserves a shot if he beats Stann?