Michael Bisping’s UFC 199 Victory Over Luke Rockhold Puts Division on Notice

A phrase not for a champion

Michael Bisping‘s UFC 199 victory has placed the Englishman as an unlikely champion. Whether it’s his homophobic slurs or demeanour inside of the Octagon, he just doesn’t seem the real deal. This has put the entire middleweight division on notice.

Bisping’s achievement is unfathomable, yet he is unconvincing with his championship credentials. Maybe it was the manner of his post-fight press conference, or his lack of dominance inside of the cage, but it’s all irrelevant now.

Michael Bisping’s UFC 199 Victory Over Luke Rockhold Puts Division on Notice

The notion of Bisping being an illegitimate champion is not helped by him seeking a rematch with Dan Henderson. Despite his stunning knockout of Hector Lombard at UFC 199, Henderson is languishing at the lower end of the middleweight rankings. Henderson reciprocated the wish for this fight. After the announcement of his possible retirement at UFC 199; his newfound sights on Bisping reaffirms the perceived standard of the current champion.

The landscape of the middleweight division is something of fairy tale right now; a fictitious land full of hopes and dreams. Chris Weidman has recognised this. The former champion believes that Bisping’s targeting of the ageing Henderson is a hope to retain his title, and a dream to avenge his loss.

Georges St-Pierre has also reportedly reached out to Bisping regarding a fight for the middleweight strap. There’s been talk of St-Pierre’s return for some time now, but the chatter with no outcome may be a result of St-Pierre waiting for the right opportunity. Whatever St-Pierre’s rationale is, his rumoured approach of Bisping speaks volumes – an easy target that presents a comfortable return; as well as a chance to get right back in the title picture.

There’s no doubt that Bisping’s leapfrog to the top of the middleweight mountain has placed the entire division on notice. While such a phrase usually follows a name like Cody Garbrandt or the Stephen Thompson of old; however this time it’s Michael Bisping, the current middleweight champion.

 

Main Photo: TORRANCE, CA – JUNE 01:  Michael Bisping during an open workout for fans and media at the UFC Gym on June 1, 2016 in Torrance, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)