Michael Bisping has made his wish for another ‘big-money fight’ known despite the looming presence of the #1 contender, Yoel Romero.
The UFC’s middleweight champion Michael Bisping had by far the greatest year of his career in 2016. Against all odds, he managed to defeat the formidable trio of Anderson Silva, Dan Henderson and the reigning champ, Luke Rockhold to establish himself as the promotion’s 185lb champion.
Right now, the middleweight division’s top-5 boasts some of the most worthy contenders on the roster, and for that reason, many criticised the Count’s decision to push for a rematch with the #13-ranked Dan Henderson instead of taking on and defending his title against one of the more deserving challengers. It was a title-bout created out of sentimentality and despite the thrilling nature of the bout that came from the booking, it was still one that hurt that credibility of the ranking system.
Now, with his feud with Henderson a thing of the past, many would point to Yoel Romero as the next logical step in Bisping’s title-reign but recently, in an interview with Champions.co (via MMAFighting) he put forth his intention to make the most of his time as champion – as well as his limited time as a professional athlete, and make a push for the so-called ‘big-money fights’ instead of following the conventional route.
““I want the biggest fight I can get. I don’t mind facing No. 1 contenders but at this stage of my career I’ve fought the best guys forever. I want the biggest fight it can possibly be. By biggest, I mean the biggest money generating fight I can possibly have. I feel I deserve that. I’ve earned that.”
“So whether that’s Yoel Romero, then great. But if it ain’t Yoel Romero, if it’s Anderson Silva, great. I know he’s piped up again lately. If it’s GSP, I don’t care who the opponent is. I’m not bothered by any opponent. I am the champion of the world and I will take on all comers, but I want the biggest fight possible.”
Bisping, of course, has never been one to shy away from controversy but I can imagine that this latest statement will be one that will earn him no praise from his fellow middleweights, especially given the fact that he is not expected to return to action until May at least.
Common courtesy would dictate that the Count take on Romero in his next fight but in this current climate it is getting increasingly more difficult to stick to the conventional methods for match-making and even if the likes of Chris Weidman, Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero voice their outrage over Bisping’s intentions, do not be surprised to see him booked for another detour when he does in fact return.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena