UFC 120 is this Saturday from London, England and headlining the card is England’s own, Michael Bisping, as he takes on Japanese Judoka, Yoshihiro Akyama. In the media events leading up to the card, Bisping stated that he feels he is just one big fight away from earning a title shot. Since that’s most likely not true, let’s take a look at his recent fights a maybe figure out just where he really is at in the middleweight division.
Since dropping to Middleweight, Michael Bisping has gone 5-2, with wins over the likes of Chris Leben, Dennis Kang, and most recently, Dan Miller. The two losses came via decision against Wanderlei Silva, and most notably the brutal knock out at the hands of Dan Henderson, following their season on The Ultimate Fighter as opposing coaches.
If you go back a little further, you will find that his only other loss came from his fight with Rashad Evans. On paper, Bisping looks like a quality candidate for a shot at Anderson Silva’s title belt. However, his recent victories may not be as substantial as other fighters near the top of the Middleweight division such as: Vitor Belfort, Nate Marquardt, Yushin Okami or even Chris Leben.
Fighting Akyama, who is coming off a loss to Chris Leben, doesn’t exactly cement him as next in line for a title shot. As we have recently learned, Anderson Silva will be taking on Vitor Belfort on Superbowl weekend, with the winner of that fight set to face the winner of the Marquardt and Okami fight. After that, it’s up in the air. A victory over Akyama could set up a rematch with Leben, Wanderlei, or maybe he will be Rousimar Palhares’ next opponent.
If he keeps the wins coming, especially against quality opponents, there may definitely be a title shot in Michael Bisping’s future. However, the claim of one big fight away might be wishful thinking for Bisping . He will first need to win his upcoming fight with Akyama in a dominant fashion in order to push himself one step further towards the top. A loss though will knock him back down and he will have a long way back up ladder.