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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva is once again without a clear challenger in the division after his second round TKO over Chael Sonnen on Saturday night. A number of fighters believe they have a claim to being the No. 1 contender in the division, including the man Sonnen defeated to earn his second fight with Silva, Michael Bisping.
Reacting to the fight during the Fuel TV post-show, Bisping made it clear he'd have a better performance against the Champion than Sonnen did at UFC 148.
"I'm not that level of wrestler. I can wrestle a little bit, but I'm not Chael Sonnen," Bisping admitted (transcribed by ESPN UK. "But, I can kickbox [much] better than Chael Sonnen can. I won't get knocked out in the second round like Chael Sonnen did. That's a fact."
"You're a fool to bet against Anderson," Bisping continued. "He's amazing. For me, personally, I want to fight the guy because I want to see how I can do against him. I've beat a lot of guys, but I want to fight that guy. I think I can do better. And I'm never going to know that until I get in there with him."
"Yes, I want to fight him. Yes, I want to get paid for a title shot. Yes, I want the main event. I want all that. For me, personally, for my mind and soul, I want to fight the guy just to know how I would do. I think I can do better than Chael Sonnen did. In fact, I know I can do better than what Chael Sonnen did."
Penick's Analysis: Everyone in the division wants a chance to fight for the title. They want a chance to fight the best to see where they stack up. Bisping's not alone in that feeling. His issue right now is that he hasn't earned it. He doesn't have any marquee wins on his record, and he's lost on both occasions when he was in position to be No. 1 contender. He very well may do better than Sonnen did on Saturday if he gets his shot, but he's going to need to win at least one fight this fall, and more than likely two fights before he gets into the title fight.
[Michael Bisping art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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