UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has led one of the most controversial title reigns in UFC history since winning the title last year.
His first title defense came gainst the 46-year-old Dan Henderson at last year’s UFC 204, and he is currently set to face former UFC middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre, who is coming off an almost four-year retirement.
With Bisping fighting “GSP” at a yet-to-be-determined later this year, it has backlogged the entire middleweight division. Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker appear to the be the next in line for a title shot. Bisping looks like he sees an opportunity to kill two contenders with one stone. During his ‘Believe You Me’ podcast, Bisping recently relished in the downfall of Souza and heaped praise for Whittaker:
“Jacare, that guy has had a chip on his shoulder and been talking a lot of smack about me for a long time now, the f**king disgusting-looking bastard that he is. He’s the ever-shrinking man – he’s certainly got smaller, we see his performances getting weaker and weaker. Robert Whittaker looked great. The kid is on fire. The kid’s doing well. Nothing but praise for Robert Whittaker. Seven wins in a row, and he’s doing good, and he’s knocking out some people as well, and he looked great against Jacare. Listen, I never really thought Jacare was that good, to be honest. If Jacare can’t take you down, he’s f*cked. His stand up is terrible. His stand up is terrible. He’s so stiff and herky jerky. He throws single shots. So Robert looked great and he called me out on the microphone immediately after. . . And fair play to him. Listen, I’ve got no qualms fighting Robert Whittaker. Let’s just make that abundantly clear right now.”
“Yoel Romero is a dirty, lying, cheating scumbag. If you want to do Whittaker after I’ve beaten GSP, we can. If not, I’ll do Romero. But I see Robert as a more worthy contender,” Bisping said (transcript courtesy of MMA Fighting). “He stopped Jacare, Romero didn’t stop Jacare. And Robert hasn’t tested positive for steroids so really I think it should be Robert next.”
Bisping went on to more forcefully suggest Whittaker is the top contender for the title, so he let it be publicly known he plans on fighting Whittaker after he defeats St-Pierre.
“Let’s officially now start the campaign that after I beat GSP, it should be Robert Whittaker. Robert Whittaker vs. Michael Bisping because – okay, maybe there’s a case that he’s the most worthy contender – but more importantly, just to f**k with Yoel Romero. He is the only fight I will take after Georges St-Pierre. I just think, all those things together, Robert Whittaker – okay, admittedly, the way better matchup for me stylistically – but, facts are facts, and I think he should be the No. 1 contender.”
If Whittaker takes another fight, like the one proposed by Luke Rockhold, and wins that one while Romero sits on the sidelines, there won’t be a debate about who is the next in line for a title shot. At least that is the way that Bisping sees it.
“Listen, I’m fighting GSP sometime this year so he’s gonna have to fight again in the meantime and I think Rockhold would be a great matchup. But it all depends if Rockhold shows up.”
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