Many have criticized Michael Bisping’s middleweight title reign.
Since winning the belt with a shocking first round knockout victory over Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in June 2016, “The Count” has only defended the title once, scoring a decision victory over Dan Henderson, who was ranked outside of the top 10 at the time, at UFC 204 in October 2016.
Now, the 38-year-old is set to take on returning former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in the main event of Nov. 4’s UFC 217 from Madison Square Garden in New York City. Given the fact that St. Pierre has never competed at middleweight, Bisping has once again received some criticism for not taking on the top contenders at 185 pounds.
Interestingly enough, however, Bisping actually recently took a jab at St. Pierre’s title reign ahead of their upcoming bout. “Rush”, considered by many to be the very best welterweight of all time, defended his 170-pound title nine consecutive times, but Bisping said that he did so against smaller competition:
“He’s fought a lot of the same people over that period,” Bisping said (Via MMAFighting.com), which stretched from 2008 to 2013. “He’s fought them multiple times. And if you go through the opponents. I mean, BJ Penn, who he fought twice or three times, he’s a featherweight, right? Johny Hendricks, I mean look at Johny Hendricks these days. But still.
“Nick Diaz is a welterweight. Carlos Condit, oh, that’s a good win. Josh Koscheck, Dan Hardy, Thiago Alves — lightweight. BJ Penn — featherweight. Matt Serra — lightweight. These are all smaller guys.”
“The Count” then argued that St. Pierre faced competition that was “suited toward him size-wise and skill-wise”, which he claimed won’t be the case when they meet in New York next weekend:
“He always had that strength and size advantage,” Bisping said. “Now, he’ll probably be stronger than me in this fight, I don’t doubt it. Because he lifts a lot of weights and he’s doing his amino acids every morning and this and that. He’s a real athlete. But I’m a bigger natural guy and he’s not gonna have that advantage. So yeah, he’s great and he’s beaten a lot of competition. But he’s had competition that has been suited toward him size-wise and skill-wise. This is a different matter.”
What do you make of Bisping’s latest comments?