Through 25 UFC fights covering a decade of work, Michael Bisping (pictured) has never managed to become a bridesmaid let alone a bride. At best, Bisping has been more like a top-tier ring bearer.
“The Ultimate Fighter 3” winner has come up short in middleweight title eliminators on two separate occasions — the first being a vicious lights out knockout to Dan Henderson in 2009 and the second three years later in a unanimous decision defeat to Chael Sonnen.
However, if you were to ask Bisping, and even if you don’t, he’ll tell you those two aren’t true losses because they were against aging fighters who were powered by testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), which has since been banned by the UFC.
Bisping has been on the doorstep, but hasn’t managed to kick the top contender door open to compete in an ever elusive UFC title tilt.
Now 37, Bisping is just five days away from finally challenging for the UFC throne. And it’s not as though Bisping solidified his top contender status by winning a title eliminator to score Saturday’s scrap with champ Luke Rockhold, he slid in through the backdoor after Chris Weidman was forced to bow out at the last minute with a neck injury.
In fact, Bisping wasn’t even Plan B because Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza declined the UFC’s offer to replace Weidman due to a knee injury. Luckily for Bisping, he’s currently enjoying a three-fight winning streak. So opportunity came knocking, and even if it’s on only 17 days’ notice, Bisping answered with a resounding yes.
Speaking of yes…
Wasn’t Bisping just submitted by Rockhold four fights ago? Yes. Is “The Count” a whopping 7-1 longshot to emerge victorious at UFC 199? Yes. At 37, is this Bisping’s last chance to fight for a UFC title? Yes.
And that leads us to Saturday. Bisping took the scenic route, but he finally made it to a championship fight. Timing and luck were certainly on Bisping’s side in landing the gig, but he’ll take it. What will he do with the opportunity of a lifetime?