"After I beat Brian Stann on Saturday night I want to fight Anderson Silva."
- Michael Bisping
Brian Stann, however, has noted that he will not ask for a title shot against Anderson Silva should he emerge victorious Saturday night in Toronto. On the subject of Stann, I think we can all agree on who the biggest victory of his career came against. It was over Chris Leben at UFC 125 in Vegas. The All-American knocked out Leben at least one time (possibly three) in a fight that lasted just over three and a half minutes. He built some momentum by finishing Jorge Santiago later in the year and was then brought back down to earth again by Chael Sonnen. Another vicious KO win later, this one over Alessio Sakara, and he has been paired up with the one and only Mr. Bisping.
What exactly was the biggest win of Michael Bisping's career anyway and how did he get himself into a situation where he is ready to call out the greatest fighter of all time. Well, it is of note that this G.O.A.T will be taking on Stephan Bonnar next but let us remind ourselves that no title is on the line in that one. That is a fight that has been made to essentially "save" another fight card that was about to die and give RIO something to look forward to after Silva vs. Sonnen II was stolen from them due to that UN Conference earlier this year. So, back to Bisping. We'll take a look at his top victories after the break and attempt to sort out which of them was the most important - or if his most important victory was actually accomplished in defeat.
Michael Bisping closed out his undefeated run at 14-0 with a huge TKO win over Elvis Sinosic in Manchester and a very controversial split decision over Matt Hamill in London. Then we watched him lose in a snoozefest to Rashad Evans were neither fighter really delivered, regardless the end result was Bisping dropping from light heavyweight to middleweight where he remain one of the most active fighters in the UFC from April of 2008 until present day boasting a record of 8-3.
Whenever 185 Bisping gets hot, he tends to drop against big name fighters. Those 3 losses come against Wanderlei Silva, who followed in the footsteps of Chuck Liddell in his fight against Wand, cementing every round late, Dan Henderson, and Chael Sonnen. The biggest name on his victims list is Chris Leben (same as Stann's) but unlike Stann, he could not finish Leben.
The Count's most impressive career performances at middleweight came against Denis Kang, (who has gone 3-3-1 since being booted from the UFC) and Jason "Mayhem" Miller, who has looked equally impressive in his loss to CB Dollaway and his Mission Hills Church nude romp in California. So again, what was Bisping's biggest win? Were you impressed by the way he caught Jorge Rivera with an illegal knee, then after getting a point taken away eventually finished him via TKO? Was it his stand and bang gem with Yoshihiro Akiyama, a fighter who has gone 1-4 since earning a roster spot with the UFC? Or was it his unanimous decision victory over the tough as nails Dan Miller, another solid fighter that, no offense, could be a champion in any other organization - just not this one.
In my mind it was none of these. The biggest win of Michael Bisping's career came earlier this year in Chicago when he was defeated by Chael Sonnen via unanimous decision. Bisping was originally scheduled to take on Demian Maia on the UFC on FOX 2 "Tripleheader", a card that turned out to be somewhat of a bust ratings and overall quality of fight wise. When Mark Munoz would be forced to withdraw from his fight with Chael Sonnen it was Bisping that stepped up on 8 days notice in what would turn out to be a #1 contenders bout. Bisping humanized Chael, he did everything that Anderson Silva could not back at UFC 117. In many folks minds it was Bisping who won the bout, I myself had Sonnen taking it ever so slightly but still wouldn't have made a stink about it if Bisping was awarded a split or 29-28 UD. Sonnen did take the fight 30-27 on one judges scorecard which was a bit unfair.
Bisping was able to pop right back up after being taken down by Sonnen. He was able to survive the aggressive attack of Chael, and even control Sonnen against the cage. I believe heading into this fight with Brian Stann that Michael Bisping is coming off the best fight of his career against one of the toughest puzzles to solve in "The American Gangster". Now he faces a man whom he may have the advantage against technically in a kickboxing battle, but will have a hell of time matching in power Saturday night in Toronto.
So does Bisping deserve a title shot if he beats up Brian Stann? If you take his name and his ability to hype fights into consideration - yes. If you take his overall record and what he's brought to this company, and his country in regards to the sport of mixed martial arts - yes. If you take the quality of opponents he's posted W's against - no. Stann would be the biggest named he's defeated since Leben years ago, and he would have to finish Stann in my mind to earn this title shot. But hey, 2 out of 3 ain't bad, and if Anderson would agree to take on Bisping in England, (we haven't seen a title fight in England since Penn vs. Stevenson back at UFC 80) then everybody wins from a business standpoint.