At 36 years of age British UFC legend Michael Bisping could be forgiven for giving up on his dream of landing the middleweight title.
However, The Count believes that in its current state the division can offer few better title challengers than himself and he intends to prove as much when he faces former long-time champion Anderson Silva in London.
Bisping is the 5/2 underdog against the Brazilian, with Silva priced up as the 10/31 favourite but the Englishman believes he has what it takes to not only upset the odds but go on to claim a title that he says is long overdue.
According to the Manchester man a win against Silva should see him jump to the front of the queue to face the winner of any rematch between current middleweight champions Luke Rockhold and Chris Weidman.
The new-look division, shorn of a number of contenders due to more rigorous drug testing, means there are few better alternatives than the veteran.
Ruling out a number of fighters, Bisping explained: “Yoel Romero just tested positive. Call it what you will, he’s out. Jacare [Souza] lost. They’re two cheats. I’ll say it right now, Jacare looked smaller in his fights and Vitor [Belfort]? Don’t get me started, we’ve all got places to go I’m sure. Romero is out the window… and Jacare is going to continually shrink now that he’s off the juice.”
If The Brit overcomes Silva in front of his own fans he believes he is in the right form to be given his opportunity and he’s made an impassioned plea to UFC President Dana White.
“I’m a perennial contender; this is my 10th year in the UFC, my 10th year with the company. The only guys who beat me in my last five fights are all champions. When I beat Anderson, I should get my damn title shot. Dana c’mon,” he added.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.