After winning a unanimous decision at UFC 204 in the United Kingdom earlier this month, Michael Bisping said his thank yous to family and his hometown Manchester and gave credit to his opponent in Dan Henderson.
“Now, that’s out of the way,” Bisping said in his post-fight interview, turning his attention to the top four contenders for his middleweight title.
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One by one, he went down the list with a comment and call-out for each fighter. First up was Chris Weidman, with whom he has developed quite a back-and-forth in their comments through the media. Next was Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero and Jacare Souza.
“All of you, win a fight, get off the couch and let’s do this,” Bisping said to wrap up his speech.
Weidman brushed off Bisping’s comments.
“Bisping’s an all right guy,” Weidman told Newsday last Thursday, who was made available via QALO. “I kind of just call it the way I see it. He’s calling us out after he barely beats a 46-year-old No. 14 ranked guy. I’m like, ‘What are you doing, man?’ He definitely had that scripted before. He definitely saw that fight going way different than it did, but he stuck to the script so I give him credit.”
Weidman and Romero are scheduled to fight at UFC 205 in New York City on Nov. 12. Rockhold and Souza will fight on Nov. 26. Bisping’s next opponent figures to emerge from one of those fights.
Bisping, who replaced the injured Weidman and knocked out Rockhold to win the title last June at UFC 199, seems keen on fighting the former UFC middleweight champion from Long Island.
“It seems like me and Weidman have this rivalry now,” Bisping said on “The MMA Hour” on Monday. “I’ve got nothing against Weidman. He likes to talk [expletive] on my career and I’ll do the same on his. But I wish him all the best. Competition aside, he seems like a good guy and a good dude. But we’ve been talking a lot, so I guess we’re gonna settle it in the octagon.”
That fight wouldn’t take place until some time in 2017, provided Weidman wins at Madison Square Garden next month.
“If he gets past Yoel Romero, which he’s got a handful there, but if he does, then yeah, I’ll happily fight him next,” Bisping said. “I believe he’s a good matchup for me.”