UFC 152: 4 Reasons Michael Bisping Does Not Deserve a Title Shot
UFC 152 was a big night for championships. Vitor Belfort nearly dethroned light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, while Demetrious Johnson became the first man to strap the UFC flyweight championship around his waist.
Earlier in the evening, middleweights Michael Bisping and Brian Stann duked it out in a battle that was seemingly for a spot in the middleweight title picture.
While I acknowledge that Bisping is a popular star, and that a collision with Anderson Silva could be excellent for business, I can't help but feel that the British superstar is undeserving of a crack at the belt.
Here are four reasons why Michael Bisping does not deserve a title shot.
There Are Better Options
The debate regarding the middleweight title picture is centered around Michael Bisping and Chris Weidman. With Weidman currently scheduled for a UFC 155 fight against Tim Boetsch, I feel that the winner of that bout is undoubtedly the best candidate for a title shot. Let's take a look.
Both Boetsch and Weidman hold a perfect 4-0 record in the UFC middleweight division. Each man has two wins against Top-10 opponents, including a knockout against one in the Top Five. Whoever comes out on top of their December contest will be in the perfect place for contention.
At this point, this debate shouldn't include Bisping until he can do something to stand out above Weidman and Boetsch.
Anderson Silva Is Busy
Too often in MMA do fighters choose to sit on the sidelines in hopes of getting the fight that they want. This practice is even more common in title situations.
Rashad Evans was out of action from UFC 114 until UFC 133 because he wanted to wait for a title fight with Shogun Rua, who was out with an injury. Dan Henderson turned down a fight with Lil Nog because he wanted to challenge the winner of Jones vs. Evans at UFC 145.
In fact, some champions try to stall until a more preferred fight comes around. Carlos Condit could have defended the interim welterweight championship against contenders Johny Hendricks, Jake Ellenberger or Martin Kampmann. Instead, he chose to clog the division and wait nine months for the return of GSP.
Anderson has two fights currently on his plate, which should keep him busy until summer 2013 at the earliest. There is no reason to keep Bisping out of action long enough to get this crack at the belt.
Quality of Competition
At some point in time, Michael Bisping magically had his name thrown into the hat as a title contender. Recently, I wrote an article on the phenomenon, which takes an in depth look at Michael Bisping and his opponents since dropping to the middleweight division.
Prior to fighting Stann, The Count had never been victorious against any fighter ranked higher than No. 17 in the division. However, he somehow went into UFC 152 as the No. 3 ranked middleweight on the planet.
Now that Bisping has defeated a Top-10 opponent, he is finally worth his own Top-10 ranking. With other ranked fighters like Alan Belcher and Mark Munoz previously calling out Bisping, his dance card could be full until Silva is ready to come back to 185.
His Victory Wasn't Impressive
In an interview leading up to UFC 152, Bisping showed us that he knew the blueprint to earning a shot at the title. It all started with a Marine named Brian Stann, and The Count needed to win in dominant fashion.
Obviously I got to earn that right, and that starts on September 22nd pay-per-view against Brian Stann.
I'm training as hard as I ever trained. I've got a fantastic camp going on. Other than that, I'm going to go out there to completely embarrass Brian Stann. I'm going to prove that I'm in a completely different league, beat the crap out of him and take my title shot.
Mr. Bisping was victorious on Saturday night, but it was hardly the performance he was hoping for. At no point would Stann be embarrassed, nor was the bout one-sided at any point in time.
If the Ultimate Fighter stud can't live up to his own standards, why should he be rewarded with a title shot?