That’s according to UFC president Dana White, who confirmed that Bisping is next in line for the long reigning champion should he win in Brazil in January.
Bisping has long lingered near the top of the 185-pound division, but not quite attained his goal of getting a crack at the title.
That long sought after moment could just be 25 minutes away if he can beat Belfort at UFC on FX 7 in Brazil, but White knows that’s no easy task. Beating Belfort is easier said than done, but if Bisping does it then the title shot should absolutely go to him.
“If Bisping can beat Belfort, that’s a tough fight for Mike. He deserves a shot at Anderson,” White confirmed on Saturday night.
The same can’t be said for Vitor Belfort unfortunately.
White says that with Anderson Silva signing on for a new 10-fight deal with the UFC, he’s closing out his career with legacy type fights, and doesn’t have much interest in rematches of bouts he already won decisively.
Silva knocked out Belfort at UFC 126 with a devastating front kick just past the midway point of the first round.
“Anderson’s at this point where that fight was so one-sided and so fast and so decisive, it’s tough to throw Vitor right back in there. Especially when you’re dealing with Anderson, Anderson’s gonna want to fight new guys and new challenges,” White confirmed.
It’s a tough spot for Belfort, who, at 35 years of age, has to know the clock is ticking on him ever getting another shot at the middleweight belt, much less while Anderson Silva still sits atop the division.
If there’s a consolation prize, it’s the fact that Belfort can play spoiler in a big way should he defeat Bisping at UFC on FX 7. It would send the promotion on the hunt for the next potential contender to face Silva in 2013.