Saturday, July 21, 2012
Bisping says he's been promised title shot
By Brett Okamoto
CALGARY -- Should Michael Bisping take care of business against Brian Stann when the two meet at UFC 152 in September, he’ll finally get his long-awaited title shot.
At least, he says, that’s what he’s been unofficially told.
“I’ve been told if I beat him -- and beat him well -- I’ll get a title shot,” Bisping said. “But I haven’t gotten it in writing, so it probably doesn’t mean anything.”
The UFC is expected to make several fight announcements Saturday in regard to its 185-pound division. One will almost certainly include newcomer Hector Lombard, depending on how he fares against Tim Boetsch at UFC 149.
Should the UFC elect to place Lombard into a title fight against Anderson Silva, despite holding just one win in the promotion, Bisping says he understands it from a business perspective but isn’t terribly optimistic on Lombard’s chances.
“People are saying he’s going to be next for Anderson Silva? Come on,” Bisping said. “There’s just no way he can fight Anderson Silva, because Silva’s game is to use range.
“I think it will be a terrible matchup for Hector Lombard. He’ll never get near him.”
Michael Bisping, top, is in full campaign mode in his quest for a title shot.
Despite coming off a loss in his most recent fight, Bisping (22-4) has built a case to compete for the title. The Brit is 4-1 in his last five and isn’t alone in his perception he actually edged Chael Sonnen when the two met earlier this year.
That said, Bisping says he takes full responsibility for the fact he’s gone six years in the UFC with no title shot. Key losses to Dan Henderson in 2009 and the one to Sonnen have derailed previous title hopes.
If the UFC keeps its promise though to push him through to Silva after September, Bisping remains confident he’s up to the job.
Seeing the success Sonnen had in two fights with Silva was encouraging -- but really, Bisping says he’s seen holde in the champ’s game before.
“Every time I watch him fight, I think he always looks mortal if you will,” Bisping said. “He always looks beatable. That’s the good thing about a champion: they find a way to win. Regardless of how bad the fight goes, how it ends is the important thing.
“Anderson always comes out the winner. My hat is off to him, but I see holes in his game.”
If or when Bisping does secure his first title shot, he admits he doesn’t envision it taking place in England, unfortunately.
“Zero,” answered Bisping, on his chances of talking the UFC into a title fight in his native country. “It would be my dream to fight in England but we don’t have the pay-per-view culture in England. It’s as simple as that.”