After returning from nearly a year off to heal from surgery for a detached retina, longtime UFC vet Michael “The Count” Bisping dropped three rankings spots following his one-sided decision loss to Tim Kennedy at last Wednesday’s (April 16, 2014) TUF Nations Finale in Quebec.

It was a rather unimpressive fight that largely saw Kennedy take Bisping down at will and hold him on the mat, never giving the Brit time to unleash his trademark brand of high-volume kickboxing.

Many derided the bout as unbefitting of a true main event, and even Kennedy said he was unimpressed with his own performance. Now, however, a new opponent has come forth to challenge Bisping.

Brad Tavares, who lost a decision of his own to surging middleweight Yoel Romero at last Saturday’s (April 19, 2014) UFC on FOX 11 in Orlando, is apparently ready to get back into the cage, and he wants Bisping. The Hawaiian took to Twitter and promised a “hump-free zone” if he were to get a fight with Bisping:

It sounds like “The Count” is itching to get back to fighting sooner than later. Cage rust may have played a deciding factor in his loss to Kennedy, as he simply didn’t look his usual self.

However, time is running out for Bisping to make a legitimate run in a division full of talented finishers, and beating Tavares won’t necessarily gain him back the footing he has lost.

Still, it’s a step in the right direction, as Tavares had recently won five straight bouts before running into Cuban Olympic silver medalist wrestler Romero. Given his recent style, there should be some truth to his promise to stand and trade with Bisping.

Bisping is known for never turning down a challenge. But, is this a fight you’d want to see?

Photo: Eric Bolte for USA TODAY Sports