Michael Bisping Believes a Win Over Luke Rockhold Puts Him ‘Right in the Mix’ of Middleweight Contenders

November 4, 2014
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It’s been eight years since Michael Bisping won The Ultimate Fighter 3 light heavyweight tournament, earning a UFC contract. He’s had 20 fights inside the Octagon in those eight years and has been one fight away from a title shot twice in his career.

The 35-year-old Englishman faces No. 5-ranked Luke Rockhold at UFC Fight Night 55 on Nov. 8 and hopes a win over the former Strikeforce champion will put him back in the contender conversation.

UFC120_BispingAkiyama_031-478x270“For myself, it’s just one fight at a time. If I beat Luke, when I beat Luke, I think that puts me in a very, very good position. Of course, there is some other good talent out there that’s making a case for it,” said Bisping during a recent media conference call.

Middleweight champion Chris Weidman puts his title on the line for the third time at UFC 184 on Feb. 28 against No. 3-ranked Brazilian Vitor Belfort. No. 2-ranked Anderson Silva has two losses to the champion, and a trilogy fight seems unlikely. No. 4-ranked Lyoto Machida lost to Weidman by unanimous decision in his last outing on July 5.

SEE ALSO: UFC 184 Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort Fight Card Rumors

With a win over Rockhold, Bisping could realistically put himself in line for a crack at the winner between Weidman and Belfort. He hasn’t fought Weidman, so it’s a fresh match-up. He and Belfort have history.

Belfort knocked out Bisping in January 2013. The controversial use of Testosterone Replacement Therapy, which Belfort was utilizing during the time of the fight against Bisping, was banned in February. The case for a rematch could easily be built around that alone.

“Well obviously you’ve got Belfort vs. Weidman settling things in February, I believe. Luke, since coming to the UFC, or in his last two fights, has people talking about him possibly being the next contender,” said Bisping.

“Machida’s always a perennial contender, but he just had his shot, so you can kind of take him out of it for the immediate future, I think. There’s Jacare, but I’m not sure if the UFC is too excited about that,” he added.

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza is ranked No. 2 in the middleweight division. He’s on a seven-fight winning streak and a former Strikeforce champion. Souza is logically next in line, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee him the next shot.

“Who knows? Of course, I’ll give a good performance against Rocklhold. I believe it puts me right in the mix. Does it guarantee a title shot? No, not necessarily, but as I said, I believe it puts me right in the mix.”

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  • TheCerealKiller

    Champ Chris Weidman
    1.Anderson Silva
    2.Jacare Souza
    3.Vitor Belfort
    4.Lyoto Machida
    5.Luke Rockhold
    6.Yoel Romero
    7.Tim Kennedy
    8.Gegard Mousasi
    9.Michael Bisping

    “He’s on a seven-fight winning streak and a former Strikeforce champion. Souza is logically next in line, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee him the next shot.” He’s nuts! Bisping hasn’t beaten a single person on that list and is on a 1 fight win streak. IF he beats Rockhold, that maybe moves him up 1 spot? Maybe drop Luke to #9, but that in no way puts him “in the mix” of any title talks. He has lost every contender fight he has ever had and I don’t think he can beat one guy above him right now.

    • sylverdrag

      Actually, I think he is right. Vitor had his shot already. Silva won’t face Weidman again for a long while, nor will Machida. Kennedy & Gegard just lost, they have to get back in the win column before they get a shot. That leaves Jacare and Yoel.

      If Bisping gives a real trashing to Rockhold, as strange as it sounds, he becomes eligible and depending on the scheduling, a title shot is not unreal at all.

      • TheCerealKiller

        Jacare should be the next, which leaves Bisping to have to fight again before even thinking about a title. Of course that all is hinged on the giant IF he beats Rockhold, which he won’t. IF he did, Romero or Machida would be the only guys on schedule to fight next and I don’t see him beating either of them.

        • sylverdrag

          IF he manages to get past Rockhold, he gets to be on the very short list of people who can get a title shot or a top contender fight – in the mix, so to say.

          I am certainly not saying I expect Bisping to make it to the top, I don’t see him beating Romero, Machida, Gegard, Jacare, to say nothing of Silva and Weidman. But given the current line up of the division, saying a win on Rockhold would put him in the mix is a fair assessment.