A middleweight contender? Michael Bisping would like to think himself one, but one thing he's never been is a top contender.
The biggest British star in the UFC has long embodied the idiom "always a bridesmaid, never a bride." Well, that is if the bride symbolizes the role of a top contender, while the bridesmaid is just another solid middleweight.
But Bisping is trying to change all that; he's talented, experienced and popular enough to get a title shot. Trouble is, he has to earn one first, and he's had nothing but problems in acccomplishing that previously.
AT UFC on Fox 2, "The Count" met former top contender Chael Sonnen in Chicago, bringing a four-fight winning streak with him. Sonnen, however, smothered Bisping, along with the Brit's title aspirations, en route to a unanimous decision.
Then, just one year later, Bisping had another opportunity to earn a title shot when he met Vitor Belfort in the main event of UFC on FX 7. Again, Bisping hit a major roadblock on his path to Anderson Silva, tumbling down the ranks after a knockout loss to "The Phenom."
One fight, and one win, later—he defeated Alan Belcher by technical decision at UFC 159—the 34-year-old is looking to take the next step towards what could be his last chance at a run for the 185-pound title, currently held by Silva.
Here are the best options for Bisping moving forward.