If you’re one of the folks who has written Michael Bisping off as a legitimate contender for the UFC’s 185 title, well, “The Count” is hoping to prove you wrong this weekend.
As you know, Bisping will throw down with the former champ, Anderson Silva, this Saturday, in the headliner of UFC Fight Night 84. It’s a fight that has been talked about for years, but never came together, until now.
Part of the reason for that is that during Silva’s storied reign as middleweight champion, Bisping fell short in his bid to lock up a title shot. Now, following Silva’s defeats to Chris Weidman, Bisping is hoping to score a win over the legend, and jump into a title fight.
Case in point, this is what Bisping had to say about his aspirations in the first episode of UFC FN 84 ‘Embedded” (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“Everyone knows who Anderson Silva is. He’s one of the biggest names in the sport, people say the greatest of all time,” Bisping said. “This fight with Anderson is a big one. I’m going home back to England, in front of my home crowd, my friends, my family, my home nation in the biggest fight of my career. Beating Anderson will validate a lifetime’s hard work. I’m aware of my critics and what they say about my skill set, and they said I’m not good enough. So for me, by going out there, beating Anderson, I can silence those critics. And I can prove that I’m worthy of a title shot.”
Of course, everything Bisping is saying here is understandable. The 36 year-old has repeatedly said he’s still gunning for the UFC’s 185 belt, and certainly, an impressive win over Silva would help in that effort. But, will he get a title shot if defeats the G.O.A.T? Or silence his doubters? Maybe?
If Bisping goes out, badly out guns Silva, and puts him away quickly, then sure, there will be buzz to award him a title shot. But, if that happens, folks / critics, will likely question whether the one sided win was more about Silva’s regression at this stage of his career. Especially since Silva has fought just once since 2013, and because Bisping was finished by the reigning champ Luke Rockhold not long ago.
But, hey, if Bisping can score a dominant victory, then things are definitely going to get interesting. Despite everything that’s gone down with Silva in recent years, however, it’s kind of hard to imagine him getting crushed this Saturday no?