While it seems like everyone in the MMA community wants to see Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen II for the UFC middleweight championship, there is at least one other fighter that believes he is next in line: Michael Bisping.
Bisping is one of the coaches on the current season of The Ultimate Fighter, which will conclude with him going toe-to-toe with fellow coach Jason “Mayhem” Miller in December. Should “The Count” get past Miller, he says that he is the No. 1 contender at 185 pounds.
“I feel I deserve a shot. I have got to beat Miller, he is tough, I am not looking past him. (But) it’s me, I’m the contender,” said Bisping, in an interview with Fighters Only recently. “Far be it from me to question the UFC, that’s not what I am doing, but I just have my opinion. Chael Sonnen had his chance, put on a great performance but lost. Got tapped out, got finished, and then after that he failed a steroids test. As far as I can see, he had his chance and he blew it.”
Sonnen returned from an extended layoff to defeat Brian Stann at UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III. He called out Silva, who is rehabbing an injury, in the post-fight interview. UFC President Dana White has also stated that if Dan Henderson defeats Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 139 and wants to drop down from light heavyweight, he will be in the mix to face Silva.
Bisping lost to Henderson back in 2009 after the two coached against one another on TUF. The knockout loss was the first of Bisping’s career. As far as facing “The Spider,” the Brit believes his style matches up well with the pound-for-pound fighting king.
“I think stylistically I will give him a good match up. I will do a better job than everyone has lately, Anderson hasn’t even been in a fight lately,” Bisping said. “They haven’t pressured him, they haven’t turned it into a fight. The last fight Anderson had was against Chael Sonnen. So yeah, if I get my shot…listen, it’s easier said than done. But I feel I have earned the right to have my shot.”
Bisping and Miller will meet at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale on December 3 from Las Vegas, Nevada.