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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Michael Bisping was set to take on a tough challenge in Tim Boetsch this summer at UFC 149 in Calgary, but a knee injury forced him out of the fight. He had surgery on the knee last week, and in an interview with MMAWeekly.com this week, he gave an update on his recovery.
"It's getting better. The swelling's starting to go down, I'm walking but only with a severe limp, but I can't bend the knee yet properly so I don't know when it is yet that I’ll be back in the gym," Bisping said. "I'm icing the hell out of it everyday, and hopefully within another week I can do some things."
He's hoping to return as early as UFC 151 on Sept. 1, an event headlined by the Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Jon Jones and Dan Henderson. Still, regardless of when he returns, he continues to be vocal about where he stands in the middleweight division, and is still eying a rematch with Chael Sonnen as soon as possible.
"I definitely think [I should face Chael if he beats Anderson Silva]," Bisping said. "The fight [at UFC on Fox 2 in January] was super, super close and a lot of people felt I won that fight, even the UFC, Dana [White] and Lorenzo [Fertitta] thought I won the fight. Chael Sonnen even thought I won the fight. In the Octagon he said he thought I won the first two rounds. So, everyone else seems to get a rematch these days instantly, why can't I get one?"
"I was fighting the No. 1 contender, but the judges awarded it to Chael. He won the fight, just because I lost doesn't mean I go to the back of the pile, it should mean I'm next in line. I just gave him the hardest fight he ever had and I'll give it to him again without a problem."
One of the reasons he's so adamant about deserving a spot in that potential title fight is the dearth of challengers in the middleweight division, all of whom he believes he should be above.
"You look at the contenders, who is there?" Bisping questioned. "Vitor Belfort just recently got beat, plus now he's injured. Yushin Okami's just been beat. There isn't too many challengers, I'm right there. Mark Munoz has a fight lined up with Chris Weidman, so if Chael wins, he needs a challenger, I'm right here."
Penick's Analysis: Bisping is delusional when it comes to the January fight. It was a close fight, and in the heat of it Sonnen may have felt he was down into the third round, but for most in attendance that night it was clear Sonnen was and did win the fight. Bisping needs to turn his concentration to recovery, then winning a fight before he starts talking Title fights. Besides, if he's hoping to return as soon as possible, the UFC isn't going to rush a title fight to suit his needs. He performed well against Sonnen, for the most part. However, he was dominated in the final round of that fight. He still doesn't have that big marquee win that will deliver a title fight, and he needs to work towards that in his next fight.
[Michael Bisping art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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