After just capturing his dream of UFC gold after 10 years in the UFC, what is next for the new Middleweight champion, Michael Bisping? Here’s a list of potential opponents for “The Count” in no particular order.
The man he took the gold from, the former champ himself, Luke Rockhold. Going into his last fight with Bisping, Rockhold was a massive favorite, and didn’t seem to have any worries about Bisping, who he had already beaten once back in 2014 via one-arm guillotine. However, the calmness didn’t work out for Rockhold as he was KO’d in the first round. Now the two are 1-1, (but if you ask Bisping it’s 2-1, from a sparring session before their first bout) and a rubber match would make sense, and trust me, the marketing is there, but I don’t think the timing is right. Rockhold is serving a lengthy medical suspension from being KO’d, and this rubber match could hold up the division. I think a Rockhold vs. Weidman fight makes sense, as they were originally supposed to fight at UFC 199.
As I just mentioned, I think a fight with Rockhold would make sense, as that is Weidman’s only MMA loss. However, I think a fight with Bisping makes sense as well, as Bisping said if he beat Rockhold, Weidman would be his first defense. Obviously, however, that is up to the UFC.
Out of all the potential list of candidates, “Jacare” is the most deserving. Souza is coming off a dismantling of Vitor Belfort at UFC 198, and has been a top contender for quite some time. The only downside is, he isn’t very marketable, and from a business standpoint, the UFC may not go with this option, simply because he isn’t that well known, compared to a Chris Weidman for example, who is known for dethroning longtime Middleweight king Anderson Silva.
This fight honestly makes absolutely no sense, but then again makes perfect sense. As far as rankings go, Henderson is sitting at #13 in the middleweight rankings, and is at the age of 45, so this fight is near impossible right? Wrong. Dan Henderson is coming off a vicious knockout of Hector Lombard at UFC 199, and holds a historic win over Michael Bisping. At UFC 100 Dan Henderson delivered one of the most deadliest knockouts we have seen in MMA. Also, Henderson’s MMA resume is like no other who is on the roster, being a champion in Strikeforce and Pride, both at different weight classes. On top of all that, the fans, Michael Bisping himself, and Dan Henderson have all said they want this fight to materialize. For these reasons, I can actually see this being Bisping’s first title defense. Henderson also noted that if this fight took place, win or lose, it would be his last.