Michael Bisping came to fight at UFC Fight Night 48 in Macau, China; the middleweight battered and bloodied Cung Le en route to a 4th round TKO stoppage. But as impressive as his performance was, Bisping isn’t a true contender for the UFC middleweight title. At best he is a gatekeeper, at worst he is nothing more than Top 10 filler.

Bisping is 3-3 in his last six bouts and at 35, time is not on his side. Every title eliminator bout he has been in he has come up short but every time his back is against the wall he gets the win. Bisping is a tough nut to crack.

At this point in his career it is safe to say that he will never wear UFC gold, but he can still play an important role for the UFC. Bisping is one of the few non-champions on the UFC roster that can carry the role of headliner consistently for smaller events.

Bisping continues to have some really solid name draw and he is rarely in a lackluster fight. In many ways, he has become the UFC’s new Rich Franklin; always there to provide the UFC with a solid main event. What makes Bisping better than Franklin, though, is his ability to hype a fight.

There are few fighters who have Bisping’s verbal sparring ability. He knows how to talk trash and get into a fighter’s head while not crossing the line. That ability improves his watchability because there is always a story line for fans to buy into.

Next up for Bisping should be Thales Leites, who knocked out Francis Carmont in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 49 bout. Leites is surging since re-joining the UFC and a bout against Bisping would be a clear indicator of whether or not Leites is a real title threat.

That’s Bisping’s role moving forward; he is there to headline smaller cards while separating the weak from the strong in the UFC middleweight division.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.