UFC middleweight contender Michael Bisping (22-4, MMA) was recently a guest of MMA Fight Corner and revealed to us that he has spoken with UFC matchmaker Joe Silva who told Bisping if he wins impressively enough against Brian Stann (12-4, MMA) in their UFC 152 fight at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada, Bisping could be next in line for a title shot.
When the fight goes down on September 22nd, Bisping will have to win in jaw dropping fashion to get the shot as per Silva, Bisping explained. “We’ve had that conversation. But I’ve got to do that, I’ve got to perform. I’ve got to put on a good win against Brian Stann. As I said earlier, going out there and scraping a decision by the skin of my teeth won’t cut it. I’ve got to go out there, I’ve got to beat him, I’m gonna look good and I’ve gotta fight. I’m going to put on the performance of my lifetime,” was what he and Silva discussed. But Bisping knows, Stann won’t be an easy win. “Brian Stann ain’t no pushover. If I do that, I believe I will get a title shot.”
Bisping said of the former US Marine: “Stann’s a very dangerous fighter, very popular, he’s a big name and this is a big fight. It’ll attract a lot of attention and I feel it’s a good opponent to put me in title contention. That’s what I want. I want the fights that’ll grant me a title shot. I think Brian Stann is definitely a name that could do that, as long as I get a good win and I win impressively. Regarding the fight, I’m just going to do what I always do. Train as hard as I can, get in the best shape I can, get as technically sound as I possibly can be and go out there and hopefully kick his ass.”
Despite a split decision loss to Chael Sonnen in January this year, which was what many deemed a controversial decision in a title eliminator, Bisping thinks he’s done enough in his career to earn a shot at the title and plans to prove it at UFC 152. “I think I’m right up there. The middleweight division is as stacked as it’s ever been,” Bisping said. “Anderson’s beat out a lot of the division. I think the only contenders left that he hasn’t fought are myself and Chris Weidman. I think Chris Weidman whilst being a fantastic fighter, all the rest of it still needs to generate a little more hype. You know, no one really knows who he is. So, he needs some more big wins. I’ve been there in the UFC now for six years, fighting the best the UFC’s had to offer and I’m still here. I’ve got a stellar record and I want to fight the champ. Obviously I got to earn that right, and that starts on September 22nd Pay Per View against Brian Stann. I’m training as hard as I ever trained. I’ve got a fantastic camp going on. Other than that, I’m going to go out there to completely embarass Brian Stann. I’m going to prove that I’m in a completely different league, beat the crap out of him and take my title shot.” Though Bisping said he respects everything about his opponent, he said of the decorated Marine who’s often praised for his service for the country, “This isn’t the military. This is the UFC.”
With Stann holding 9 knockout wins under his belt, Bisping said he’s preparing for what he knows is coming where Stann’s concerned. “He’s a powerful striker, he hits hard and he tends to knock people out. So obviously, I’m not gonna lie and say I’m not worried about it and I’m not going to try to avoid that. But at the end of the day I’m gonna fight,” Bisping stated. “He’s a big powerful guy, he’s got some good wins. I’m not expecting anything easy. It’s going to be a hell of a fight, I’m confident that I could get the job done.”
As far as the path to the title shot, Michael is fully aware of what it’ll take to earn it and he knows a title shot won’t happen if he simply eeks out a decision . “I think I’ll have to I go out there and I put a good beating on him. I can’t go out there and win by the skin of my teeth,” he said. “If I do the business against Stann, I’ll do it impressively, than yea, I think it’s grounds for a title shot of course.”
Though this interview was conducted prior to Anderson Silva’s announcement that he plans to take some off, Bisping thought that Silva has earned the right to call the shots when it comes to who he fights next. “At the end of the day, Anderson Silva is the biggest name in the sport right now. I could agree with it to be honest. He’s been the champ since 2006, he’s making more money than anybody else, he’s taking people out and he captures the imagination of the UFC fans. Everytime he wins a fight, he does it super impressively and he does it with a move out The Matrix. The guy is a master, he’s a man of the moment and he has been for a long, long time. Of course when you’ve been at the top and you’ve been the champ that long, of course you get to say who you fight.”
As for the clamoring from Weidman that he should be next in line to fight Silva, Bisping said Weidman should build his fan base before that happens. “I don’t think a fight against Chris Weidman would generate the most Pay Per Views. Up until recently, no one had a clue who Chris Weidman was. I didn’t. The only thing I knew about Chris Weidman was that I was watching his fight prior to my fight with Chael Sonnen backstage in Chicago before I went out and I had to turn it off because I was trying to get geared up for my fight and watching him fight was like watching paint dry. So, I’m not sure who’s going to pay 60 dollars to watch him get beat up by Anderson Silva.”
Michael Bisping vs Brian Stann will be the co-main event at UFC 152. The main event will be for the first ever UFC Flyweight Championship between Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson.