Opinion: Michael Bisping, Brian Stann Hope to Earn Middleweight Title Shot
By Michael Hatamoto
Brash British fighter Michael Bisping and American hero Brian Stann hope to offer clarity in a rather confusing middleweight division when they fight later this month at UFC 152.
The winner could be thrust towards a potential title shot in early 2013, as Anderson Silva waits for an opponent.
Honestly, I think either fighter would get manhandled if they were to fight Anderson Silva – but if Bisping wins, I believe he’s done enough to finally earn a title shot. If Stann wins, I think a potential fight with Chris Weidman could help determine a true future title defender. A case could be made for Stann’s title aspirations if he holds wins against Weidman and Bisping, but just a win against the British fighter shouldn’t be enough.
Prior to the upcoming fight, Stann suffered a submission loss to Chael Sonnen at UFC 136 and picked up a solid knockout win against Alessio Sakara – and that clearly shouldn’t be enough to suddenly earn a shot at the middleweight championship.
Meanwhile, Bisping lost a close decision to Sonnen at UFC on Fox: Evans vs. Davis in early 2012, but had solid four-fight win streak against Dan Miller, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Jorge Rivera, and Jason “Mayhem” Miller.
A dominant performance against Brian Stann could make Bisping a title contender, even though the former TUF participant welcomes a potential return back to the light heavyweight division.
If UFC President Dana White is serious that a potential super fight between Silva and UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre is possible, then that remains the biggest fight available. However, I doubt Silva vs. GSP is something we’ll see anytime soon, so the UFC needs other options for the middleweight division.