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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
UFC middleweight Michael Bisping has been campaigning for a title shot for years, but in the biggest fights in which he's gotten booked, he's fallen short. Now, he believes another opportunity is forthcoming, as he claims the UFC has told him a shot is on the line in his UFC 152 bout with Brian Stann in Toronto.
"I've been told if I beat him - and beat him well - I'll get a title shot," Bisping said in an interview with ESPN.com. "But I haven't gotten it in writing, so it probably doesn't mean anything."
Of course, Bisping is among a group of fighters who believe their nearing a shot at a Middleweight Championship fight against Anderson Silva. UFC President Dana White promises some answers following Saturday's UFC 149 card, which features another of the names in contention, Hector Lombard. However, Bisping continues to scoff at the notion of Lombard as a true challenge to Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.
"People are saying he's going to be next for Anderson Silva? Come on," Bisping said. "There's just no way he can fight Anderson Silva, because Silva's game is to use range."
"I think it will be a terrible matchup for Hector Lombard. He'll never get near him."
Bisping continues to feel he should get the shot over others, and believes there are things in Silva's game that he can exploit. Because of that, he wants his chance to prove it.
"Every time I watch him fight, I think he always looks mortal if you will," Bisping said. "He always looks beatable. That's the good thing about a champion: they find a way to win. Regardless of how bad the fight goes, how it ends is the important thing."
"Anderson always comes out the winner. My hat is off to him, but I see holes in his game."
Penick's Analysis: With White promising some type of answer on the Middleweight Title picture after Saturday's UFC 149 event, I can't imagine Bisping will be the beneficiary of that conversation. It's likely going to depend on how Lombard looks against Tim Boetsch, and if it's not him getting the next fight, it could very well be Chris Weidman being announced as the next challenger. Bisping will remain out of the loop for now, and he'll need to beat Stann at the least in September and will probably need one more win after that as well.
[Michael Bisping art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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