’s 2016 Upset of the Year


Michael Bisping was already one of the promotion’s longest tenured and most decorated fighters prior to UFC 199. However, when it came to the middleweight championship picture, he was a perpetual bridesmaid.On more than occasion, “The Count” was seemingly one step away from a title shot, only to see that opportunity snatched from his grasp in cruel and spectacular fashion. After a lopsided loss to Luke Rockhold at UFC Fight Night 55 in November 2014, it appeared that Bisping might be relegated to a gatekeeper role for the rest of his tenure. The cocksure Englishman never lost his resolve, however. Bisping continued to defiantly tell anyone who would listen that he had not given up on his dream. “Obviously, I’m always as motivated as I possibly can be going into every fight. I love doing this and I love being a part of this sport, and I love being a part of the UFC,” Bisping said after defeating C.B. Dollaway at UFC 186, just one fight removed from his loss to Rockhold. “I want to do it for a long time. Losing two in a row doesn’t go hand in hand with being one of the best in the world. I think I am. I know I can get that belt one day. I’ve just got to keep winning fights now.” Win Bisping did. After Dollaway, he bested Thales Leites and Anderson Silva in his first extended winning streak since 2011. While the Manchester native was still probably a few wins away from a title shot, he at least appeared to be back on track. Sometimes fortune smiles on the persistent. When Chris Weidman was forced to withdraw from a championship rematch with Rockhold at UFC 199 due to a neck injury, Bisping was more than happy to take his place. After 25 Octagon appearances, “The Count” would finally get his chance at Ultimate Fighting Championship gold. Bisping was not even the first choice: Ronaldo Souza, the promotion’s desired replacement option, was unavailable after undergoing meniscus surgery. While Bisping saved the promotion from losing another headliner, little was expected beyond that. After all, Rockhold had dispatched him with ease in their first meeting, …

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