Anderson-Silva-Michael-Bisping

The UFC delivered a Christmas day present to its fans and it came in the announcement of a major fight that will happen at UFC Fight Night 83 in London:

Trash-talking middleweight contender Michael “The Count” Bisping has long wanted to get a piece of former UFC middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva. He entered the UFC in 2006, the same year Silva signed with the promotion. Yet after 24 UFC bouts (6th most overall), Bisping has never gotten a title shot. And with Silva ruling the 185 pound division for nearly his entire UFC career, their paths never crossed. But now the landscape has changed.

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Silva is 0-2-1 in his last three bouts, losing his title to Chris Weidman in 2013 and breaking his leg in a rematch the following year. His January 31 win over Nick Diaz was changed to a no-contest and he was suspended for one year after failing multiple drug tests. Despite those circumstances and the fact that this isn’t the title fight Bisping has long waited for, fighting the Greatest Mixed Martial Artist of All-Time in his own backyard in London should be a consolation for The Count.

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Bisping’s had a roller-coaster career but he’s won his last two bouts and three of his last four, with his only loss being a 2nd round submission to newly crowned UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in November 2014. At 36, he may be a long-shot to get a title shot much more become champion. But fighting Silva may be more than just for octagon glory:

For Silva, it will be a chance to reclaim lost glory and an opportunity to redeem a tainted legacy. He thinks Bisping is a “big test” on the way to a title shot. But at 40, it may be the bout that will decide the fate of one of the most successful MMA careers of all-time. Bisping isn’t a Top 5 contender, but he is not a walk in the park either- both on and off the Octagon.

Immediately after the bout was announced, shots were immediately fired from Bisping:

Long before Conor McGregor brought his mouth to America, Bisping was already one of the UFC’s trash talking experts:

https://youtu.be/WKPmu1EvYww

Remains to be seen though if he can walk the talk against the Greatest, or whatever is left of it.