British MMA fighter Michael Bisping has played the role of villain for a majority of his UFC career, but that might be coming to an end. At UFC on Fox 2, Bisping put on the performance of his career, losing to Chael Sonnen via unanimous decision. One of the three Octagon-side judges gave Sonnen all three rounds, while the other two gave him round one and three.
Many MMA fans scored for fight for Bisping, including UFC president Dana White.
“I did score that fight,” White told Ariel Helwani shortly after the fight. “I had Bisping two rounds to one. I was actually saying before the fight, this isn’t a five to one [under]dog. Bisping wrestled with Rashad, the way Bisping wrestled with Hamill… Bisping has great wrestling, good stand up and great submissions, too.”
Given White’s admission, I’m sure the UFC will find a way to make it up to Bisping, and I expect the Brit to get his shot at the middleweight title within the next year or two. Fellow top UFC middleweight Mark Munoz was originally scheduled to face Sonnen at UFC on Fox 2 for the number one contender spot. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the UFC decides to set up a Bisping vs. Munoz matchup. The victor can then face the winner of the Anderson Silva vs. Sonnen matchup later on in the year.
Regardless of what the UFC decides to do with Bisping, there is no question his performance against Sonnen earned him many new fans. From the grace he handled the controversial decision with, to the class he showed at the post fight conference, Bisping has certainly come a long way from his days on the third season of the “Ultimate Fighter” TV reality series.
I guess the old saying ‘what goes around, comes around’ is true, as Bisping enjoyed a controversial decision of his own (in London, England) against Matt Hamill in 2007. To make it even more ironic, Bisping handled his win over Hamill with little class, yet, he dealt with his controversial loss to Sonnen with poise and grace.