Michael Bisping believes Marvin Vettori is the best middleweight on the planet — after Israel Adesanya.

Vettori recently bounced back from his second unanimous decision defeat to Adesanya earlier in the summer by outpointing fellow former title challenger Paulo Costa in October.

Given that he’s already faced and lost to the champion twice, it might be some time before Vettori gets another title shot. And that’s a shame for him as according to former UFC middleweight king Bisping, the Italian is the next best guy in the division.

“If it wasn’t for Israel Adesanya right now, he’d be the champ, definitely,” Bisping said in a recent Q&A on his YouTube channel (via MMA Junkie). “He’s the next best guy at 185, in my opinion. He’s doing tremendous things. I’m a friend of Marvin’s. I think he’s tremendous. That fight he had against Paulo Costa was sensational.”

Michael Bisping: Vettori Is Incredible

Bisping notably called that fight and was already a fan of Vettori going into it. But he became an even bigger one after seeing Vettori eat a number of big shots from Costa and still march forward.

“I called that fight. I was right there,” Bisping said. “He won that fight fair and square, but Paulo Costa had a lot of success, and some of the shots that Marvin ate, some of those kicks and the punches and the power that Costa has, Marvin took every single f*cking one of them. Never took a backwards step and fires right back every single time.

“It was a really inspiring performance. I was already a fan, but after that, I was like wow, this guy is incredible.”

Unfortunately for Vettori, his best hope for another title shot is to either establish an extremely impressive winning streak or hope that Adesanya loses his title in the near future.

With that said, we may know who he’ll be rooting for at UFC 271 in February.

Do you agree with Michael Bisping?