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Thread: UFC Star Michael Bisping Will Never Be World Champion, and That's OK

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Calgary, Alberta

    Default UFC Star Michael Bisping Will Never Be World Champion, and That's OK

    For 23 seconds it all came together for England's Michael Bisping (25-6) at UFC Fight Night 48 in Macau on Saturday; he unleashed a glorious combination of 20 strikes that could have been lifted directly from an MMA textbook. None of them alone was enough to finish opponent Cung Le (9-3), but the cumulative effect was staggering. In the end all Le could do was propel himself backward to the mat and pray for the referee to intervene.

    This was Bisping at his best, albeit against a 42-year-old movie star who seemed to think increased musculature would solve the aging process for him.

    It did not.

    "This is what I’m capable of," Bisping told UFC announcer Kenny Florian after the fight, which he won via TKO in the fourth round. "And believe me I’m capable of better...I want to be world champion. I know I have the tools.”

    Despite his best attempts to convince us otherwise, this win puts Bisping back into the ranks of middleweight contenders. While Bisping talked a big game about title fights to come, I suspect few were buying into the 35-year-old's resolve.

    Instead, it was a fight that confirmed exactly what we already knew about Britain's top MMA star. With 15 wins in 21 UFC appearances, Bisping has always made light work of the world's Cung Le's. That he's the last to realize that's not quite enough for a run at the top is exactly what makes him such a compelling figure.

    For years Bisping has been one of the sport's great villains, a man who has mocked the disabled, literally spit on opposing cornermen and made a habit of insulting the LGBT community. But he also has a sly smile and genuine wit. He's a master of the pre-fight battle of words, often getting underneath opponents' skin by finding their weak spots and picking away at wounds before scabs can even form, let alone heal.

    But being a compelling figure isn't enough for a run to the top. If it was, every UFC event would feature a Ken Shamrock vs. Don Frye match and BJ Penn would still be lightweight champion of the world.

    Sure, Bisping can beat up the flat-footed and ancient Le. Likewise Brian Stann and fighters on that level. But, against the very best in the world, he fails to meet the challenge. Twice he's been a single win away from a title shot.

    Both times he's come up short.

    Bisping is a very good MMA fighter. And when you are exceptional in one facet of the sport, sometimes "very good" is enough to climb all the way to the pinnacle. But Bisping is exceptional nowhere.

    His slick striking is negated by a lack of power. He moves well and strikes crisply, but his opponent can often change the tenor of a bout with a single blow. He doesn't have that gift. His wrestling is mostly defensive in nature, and his jiu-jitsu is best described as competent.

    All told, it's a pretty impressive package—for a gatekeeper. It's not the skill set of a true contender. And, at 35 years old, this is as good as it gets.

    And you know what? That's OK. Only six men have ever been UFC middleweight champion. That Bisping is not among them is no great crime.

    In mainstream sports, failing to win a championship is the ultimate mark of shame. We create a false binary where an athlete is either great or terrible, with no in between. There are just two positions in this worldview—champion and loser. Lesser lights are able to openly mock greats like Charles Barkley and Dan Marino because they were never quite the best in the world. But there's something to be said for coming close.

    Bisping has been the face of MMA in Britain for nearly a decade. He's performed admirably in that role, creating interest and a body of work he can be proud of. He might even be a UFC Hall of Famer.

    But he'll never be a world champion.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Very far


    As a gatekeeper he is indeed very good.
    Championship material? Not even close.
    Not only brazilians can do this stuff

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    Poor 'ping

  4. #4


    He's likely the best fighter at MW that hasn't been either an SF or UFC champ. I know that's a knock to Kennedy, but I feel Bisping has been historically the stronger fighter.

  5. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    Bisping is so underrated.

    Res. Record Opponent
    Win 25–6 Cung Le
    Loss 24–6 Tim Kennedy
    Win 24–5 Alan Belcher
    Loss 23–5 Vitor Belfort
    Win 23–4 Brian Stann
    Loss 22–4 Chael Sonnen
    Win 22–3 Jason Miller
    Win 21–3 Jorge Rivera
    Win 20–3 Yoshihiro Akiyama
    Win 19–3 Dan Miller
    Loss 18–3 Wanderlei Silva
    Win 18–2 Denis Kang
    Loss 17–2 Dan Henderson
    Win 17–1 Chris Leben
    Win 16–1 Jason Day
    Win 15–1 Charles McCarthy
    Loss 14–1 Rashad Evans
    Win 14–0 Matt Hamill
    Win 13–0 Elvis Sinosic
    Win 12–0 Eric Schafer

    He lost to two cheaters and Henderson, Kennedy, Silva and Evans. I actually thought he won the Evans fight but didn't get it because of the "controversial" Hamill decision was the fight before. I remember the Silva fight being really close until the end. I think he would beat Henderson if you used the right game plan (and circled the correct way).

    He will likely not beat top 3 guys but will win 90% of fights from top 5 to top 10 guys.

  6. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Muskoka, ON


    His win over Rivera is smeared in cheating...that giant illegal knee...poked out Belchers eyes. Saying that if he used the right gameplan he could beat Hendo is true but if Le used a different gameplan he could have beat Bisping.
    FW-Hominick, Weichel
    LW-Stout, Cerrone, Jim Miller
    WW-GSP, Fitch, Goulet, Rory
    HW-Carwin, Barry, Russow

    RRR=the Rhonda Rousey Resistance

    classic - "this is the dumbest thing Ive ever heard. thats like me having a picture of Hitler posted, and saying "I dont believe in his politics, but I like to hear him talk" W.Silva>C.Norris

  7. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Sakara=Excitement View Post
    Stronger as what? Like actual strength?

    He has one top 10 win, a soft ranked win at that in his entire CAREER.
    Ha! Yeh, that's hard to argue with. I guess I consider how close his loses are and am using that as a barometer. So I completely see what you're saying.

    That said, that my original statement might hold simply on the craziness that most of the guys at MW right now have been champions in the UFC or SF. He, Kennedy, and Dolloway are the only people in the UFC's ranked top 10 who haven't been.

    Though it's a phony win for me. In fact, I think that's more of a knock on Bisping than anything.

  8. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by AnchorPunch View Post
    He's likely the best fighter at MW that hasn't been either an SF or UFC champ. I know that's a knock to Kennedy, but I feel Bisping has been historically the stronger fighter.
    Kennedy looked like shit in that fight against Bisping.. I'd actually be down to see a rematch.
    "I leave this as a declaration of intent, so no one will get confused. 1: Si vis pacum para bellum. Latin. If you want peace, prepare for war. 2: Frank Castle is dead. He died with his family. 3: In certain extreme situations, the law is inadequate. In order to shame its inadequacies, it is necessary to act outside the law. To pursue natural justice. This isn't vengeance. Revenge is not a valid motive, it's an emotional response. No, not vengeance. Punishment "

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