Michael Bisping fell short in his effort to earn a title fight when he was knocked out by Vitor Belfort in the main event of UFC on FX 7.
The loss has to be particularly devastating for Bisping as it is now the third time in his career that he has lost a fight that most believed was essentially a No. 1 contenders' bout. Having come up short that many times, the question now has to be asked—not only will Bisping ever hold UFC gold, but will he ever even get a chance?
A former The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 winner as a light heavyweight, Bisping made his move down to 185 pounds back in April 2007 at UFC 83. In his previous bout against Rashad Evans, Bisping was simply overpowered and realized that he needed to make a change. The move down to 185 gave him a new career opportunity.
As good as Bisping has been at 185, the truth is that he has never quite gotten to that top level despite numerous opportunities to get there.
It started at UFC 100 when Bisping had a chance to move to the next level with a chance against former Pride champion Dan Henderson. He failed in that opportunity, getting knocked out by the slugger late in Round 2.
After winning five of his next six fights, Bisping was given another opportunity against Chael Sonnen at UFC on FOX 2. Despite a near comeback late in the fight, Bisping came up short again, losing the decision.
Finally we got to UFC on FX 7 on Saturday night. Although Belfort is certainly still a solid fighter, the consensus seemed to be that if Bisping made it out of Round 1, the Brit would be the one with his hand raised.
As it turned out, he was knocked out yet again, marking the third time that he lost an apparent No. 1 contenders' bout throughout his UFC career.
Bisping gave a good post-fight speech, telling fans that he's not going anywhere and that he'll be back, but at this point, it's hard to have much confidence in him. He simply doesn't rise to the occasion for his biggest fights.
I hate to label Bisping as a "choke artist," but what Michael Bisping has done is actually worse than what Kenny Florian did in his numerous title fights. At least Florian was losing championship fights—Bisping isn't even getting there.
Bisping fans will note that their fighter is still relatively young and does have a chance to get a championship at some point. But when you look at his body of work in important fights, would you really put your money on it?