Belfort vs Bisping: Does Michael Bisping Deserve a Title Shot with a Win?

Kyle Symes@ksymes88Correspondent IIIJanuary 19, 2013

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27:  Michael Bisping of Great Britain walks to the ring for his fight against Jorge Rivera of the USA before their middleweight bout part of at UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Michael Bisping has a title shot awaiting him if he can defeat Vitor Belfort at the UFC on FX 7 event. Dana White has made it very well known that Bisping is only one win away from securing that elusive UFC title shot.

But does Bisping even deserve a title shot if he defeats Belfort?

Let's start by examining Bisping's quality of opposition in his last few fights. The Englishman holds wins over Brian Stann, Jason Miller and Jorge Rivera in his last four fights. Stann is certainly a quality fighter, but he's been a fringe top-10 middleweight during his UFC tenure. Miller clearly wasn't ready to fight in the Octagon and Rivera should've never been competing against Bisping in the first place.

Bisping also has a loss to former middleweight contender Chael Sonnen mixed in as well.

Based on his resume alone, it's hard to claim Bisping deserves a title fight after beating the aforementioned names. Still, a win over both Belfort and Stann gives Bisping two quality wins in his last few outings along with an admirable performance against Sonnen last year.

What will help Bisping's cause the most is the lack of credible challengers in the 185-pound division. Anderson Silva has rampaged through the division for years and at this point it's hard to see anyone as having a chance to dethrone "The Spider."

With Chris Weidman on the shelf due to a shoulder injury, both Tim Boetsch and Alan Belcher losing at UFC 155, and Yushin Okami (who was already destroyed once by Silva) managing to sap the excitement out of any arena, the door is wide open for Bisping to move into the No. 1 contender spot.

If we are going just on fight resume alone then you'd have to say Bisping hasn't beaten enough quality opposition to slide into a title shot, but with a lack of challengers and putting two-straight credible wins in a row, it would be hard for the UFC to justify a title shot to anyone else.