- UFC on FX 7
Bisping eyes Belfort demolition after title chance boost
Michael Bisping is determined to earn a long-awaited middleweight world title shot by demolishing Vitor Belfort when the pair meet in January.
Bisping, 33, is a veteran of 17 bouts inside the Octagon but has never earned a fight for the division's title - with key losses to rivals at inopportune times costing him dearly whenever he has got close to taking that final step up.
But UFC president Dana White gave the Brit cause for renewed optimism at the weekend, after indicating that Bisping would "probably" get a shot against UFC champion Anderson Silva if he beats Belfort at UFC on FX 7 on January 19.
Having heard the news, Bisping is determined to ensure White is forced to deliver on his words.
"For me Christmas is coming late this year, normally it's December 25th, for me Christmas is going to be January 19th when I go down to Brazil, beat the living snot out of Vitor Belfort and take my title fight, my rightly deserved title fight, my long overdue title fight," Bisping said on television show Inside MMA.
He added: "I haven't personally heard anything from Dana or the UFC, I heard him on the weekend say I'd probably get a shot at Silva if I beat Belfort. I honestly believe I would deserve it, in my mind Vitor Belfort is the hardest fight in the middleweight division outside of Anderson Silva.
"If I beat Vitor I definitely deserve a shot, I'm definitely the No. 1 contender."
While Bisping is reluctant to look too far ahead to any potential meeting with Silva, he remains confident he has the skills to push the Brazilian further than arguably the UFC's best pound-for-pound exponent has been in recent fights - claiming he will not go down easily unlike other 'bums' to have fought Silva.
"Anderson is rightly so regarded pound-for-pound best," he noted. "What can I do? Listen, I've never got in with him, I don't know.
"I believe in myself, I believe in my skills, I believe in my training, I believe in my ferocity as a fighter, I'll get in there and I'll fight him, I certainly ain't going to fall down like some of these bums have done lately."