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A Comprehensive List of the Fighters Who Have Called for Title Shots Against Michael Bisping

Fightland Blog

By Tom Taylor

Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC

Michael Bisping has got to be one of the most called-out fighters in UFC history. Really, it seems that at least half the fights on the Brit’s 36-fight record have been the result of his being called out by opponents hoping to make a name for themselves by defeating him. And of course, there are the scores of other fighters who have called him out to no avail.

When Bisping shocked the world by snuffing Luke Rockhold and winning the UFC middleweight title at UFC 199, the trend of fighters calling him out was thrust into overdrive. Evidently still considered an easy fight by his title-chasing peers, it seems that everyone with two gloves and a mouthpiece is now interested in challenging Bisping for the middleweight crown.

In an effort to keep track of the throngs of fighters hoping to challenge Bisping, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the fighters themselves, and of what they’ve said.

Luke Rockhold

Rockhold’s callouts of Bisping began at the UFC 199 post-fight press conference, just moments after the Brit had stolen his belt. His statements were based primarily on the fact that he’d previously handed Bisping an emphatic loss, making them 1-1 across 2 fights.

“I’d love nothing more [than a rematch]” Rockhold said. “I guarantee you, you give me that rematch, I will put this man away. I will respect him more, but I will put him away—just like I did the first time.”

And then, of course, there was this gem:  

“Bisping, I will come back and fucking kill you. You enjoy your short-lived destiny, my friend. Mark my words.”

Then again, it’s worth noting that Rockhold has been relatively silent since that post-fight press conference, which can surely be attributed in part to the tragic passing of his father.

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

Despite having arguably the best claim to the first shot at Bisping’s title, Jacare has been one of the least vocal fighters in calling for that shot. Perhaps that’s because he knows he deserves it.

That said, the Brazilian talent has made his desires known on several occasions.

In a recent Instagram post, for example, Jacare addressed Bisping, imploring that he deserved the shot more than anybody else who’s been calling for it, and assuring that he’d take that shot pretty much anywhere.

“@mikebisping, explain to me all this crap about everybody calling you out if you know that I’m the one that deserves the title shot. I’ll fight you in England, United States, Brazil or even on the moon. Let’s make this happen!”

Jacare was also quick to address the possibility of fighting Bisping moments after the Brit won the belt, posting the following on Instagram:

“Congratulations @mikebisping! You were amazing last Saturday. But we'll meet soon in the octagon!”

Chris Weidman

Weidman’s callouts of Bisping have occurred almost exclusively on Twitter and Instagram, where he is making every effort to sustain a beef with Bisping in the clear hopes of jumping to the front of the contendership line.

In one particular Instagram post Weidman shared a pre-UFC 199 video of Bisping wherein the Brit suggested that if he defeated Rockhold, he’d happily give Weidman the first crack at his belt. Along with the video, Weidman had this to say:

“Hey @mikebisping was it a lil easier saying my name before the opportunity of fighting me came? I don't hear you now. I'm sorted out, bum. Let's see you try to shut me up Nov 12th on the biggest stage in the world [UFC 205 in New York City]. The fairy tale is over soon, believe you me.”

In a later exchange, Weidman and Bisping went at it on Twitter, as Weidman suggested that Bisping is avoiding him, and Bisping returned fire with some classic accusations of performance enhancing drug use.

Dan Henderson

Just hours before Bisping defeated Rockhold to win the title, a 45-year-old Dan Henderson surprised by shutting the lights off on Hector Lombard. Moments later, during his in-cage interview with Joe Rogan, Henderson suggested that the fight could have been his last ever. When Bisping won the title, however, Henderson’s retirement plans were quickly relocated to the backburner.

Thanks to his revivifying defeat of Lombard, and his crushing 2009 knockout of Bisping, the aging Henderson suddenly found himself in the perfect position to leverage a late-career title rematch with the new champ, and wasted no time in chasing just that.

“[Fighting Bisping] is definitely something that I would do," Henderson said during an interview on the MMA Discussion podcast. "But it would definitely be my last fight for sure. Win or lose. I'm obviously confident that I would win, but win or lose I would make that my retirement fight."

In an interview with Damon Martin of Fox Sports, Henderson raised similar points:

"I hope [the rematch] happens,” he said. “I didn't expect to get a title shot again, so obviously I'm welcoming that and pushing for that opportunity.”

And as it turns out, Bisping is also interested in this possibility. 

“I’m 37, It’s not like I’ve got 10 years ahead of me,” Bisping said during an appearance on the MMA Hour. “There’s certain fights that I want, there’s certain people I’d like to get revenge on.”

"Of course, there’s been talk about Dan Henderson, which kind of came out of the blue," Bisping continued. “There hasn’t been any kind of offer or anything like that, but that’s a fight that I would take because everybody knows about UFC 100, and Dan Henderson still has an image of him floating above my head while I’m knocked out as his logo. So, I would like to put him in his place.”

Georges St-Pierre

The most surprising Bisping callout came from welterweight great Georges St-Pierre, who has not only never competed at middleweight, but has also been retired for several years and has never been known for calling people out.

In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, St-Pierre sent a shockwave through the MMA world by announcing that he was ready to return to competition. Yet where many expected a return St-Pierre to campaign for a welterweight title shot, or perhaps chase a long-awaited super-fight with former middleweight champ Anderson Silva, the Canadian instead surprised with a respectful callout of Bisping.

"There are two things I'm very proud of," St-Pierre explained on the show. "There's my title—my welterweight title that I won—and there's another record that I hold for the most wins in UFC history. And now I have someone who's challenging me for it in Michael Bisping.”

“The world doesn't turn around me, but if it's a fight that the fans and the UFC wants to make, they've got my number,” the former welterweight king continued. “We can organize to make it happen and make an agreement.”

And just as he’s intrigued by the prospect of a Dan Henderson rematch, Bisping is also interested in a scrap with the returning welterweight legend.

“Fighting Georges St-Pierre [would be] great,” The middleweight champ explained on the MMA Hour. And of course for the title for ‘who has the most wins in UFC history’…I mean, that alone is a fantastic tagline and great promotion.”

Yoel Romero

Admittedly, Romero’s callouts of Bisping haven’t been your traditional callouts. The former Olympian hasn’t been assailing the champ in the media, or bombarding him on social media. Instead, Romero has been relentlessly Retweeting any fan who suggests he deserves the next crack at Bisping’s title. And unfortunately for him, this rather uninspired effort—combined with his current PED-related suspension—is likely to mean he’ll be passed over in the hunt for the next middleweight title challenger.

Anderson Silva

The most recent fighter to call out Bisping has been former middleweight champion Anderson Silva. The two fought earlier this year in London, England, with Bisping narrowly escaping the fight with a razor-thing decision win. Using this ultra-competitive bout as ammo, the former champion recently took to Instagram to make his case for the next shot at Bisping’s welterweight belt. The highlights of this lengthy post were as follows:

“Well, I could give you million reasons to make the fight against Bisping happen, but the truth is that he is afraid. I'm not going to compare myself to others or even mention someone else, but in my perspective I believe I have the right to a fight with him once again, because I have won London's fight and a rematch was promised.”

“If I could help him to feel more confident and less afraid I would agree to fight him in his hometown, Manchester.”

To say Bisping has a target on his back would be an understatement, as fighters at middleweight and beyond are clamoring for the chance to fight him. The big question is, of course, which of these talented athletes gets the next shot at the new middleweight king? 

 

Check out these related stories:

Weighing the Options for Michael Bisping's First Title Defense

Rule Britannia: How Michael Bisping Became the UFC's Middleweight Monarch

 

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