Michael Bisping has fought 17 times in the UFC over a 6 ½-year span and only once was he not competitive. 

With a just small amount of luck, Bisping could be heading into his bout Saturday in Sao Paulo, Brazil, against Vitor Belfort with a 16-1 record.

A win on Saturday over the veteran Belfort will not only improve Bisping's UFC record to 14-4, but also it will finally vault him to a title shot.

One of the great MMA mysteries of the modern era is how Bisping was able to keep winning so regularly without getting a title shot.

But UFC president Dana White has promised Bisping that if he beats Belfort on Saturday, he'll challenge Anderson Silva for the middleweight title later this year.

That's good news to Silva, who disposed of Belfort in less than 90 seconds in 2011 and who isn't interested in fighting rematches.

But it's great news for Bisping, who seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time in terms of getting a title shot.

"Some other guys have had an easier path to the title, that's for sure," Bisping said. "Look at some of the past contenders: Patrick Cote, Thales Leites, people like that. Demian Maia. It's laughable.

[Also: Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez likely set for UFC on Fox 7]

"But on the flip side, I've been in these No. 1-contender matches and I came up short. When I fought Chael, had I won, I would have been in there. The Dan Henderson fight, it obviously didn't go my way and when you lose a No. 1-contender fight, it takes time to build yourself back up. It's not like we're fighting every six weeks. ... But I'll be honest with you, it's frustrating being around as long as I have and not having fought for the title."

Bisping is 13-4 in his 17 UFC bouts dating back to his victory over Josh Haynes at "The Ultimate Fighter 3 Finale" on June 24, 2006. His losses have been disputed decisions to Rashad Evans at UFC 78, Wanderlei Silva at UFC 110 and Sonnen at UFC on Fox 2.

The only fight in which he was blown out was when Henderson nearly decapitated him at UFC 100 in 2009.

[Related: Michael Bisping: I am destined to be world champ]

Though he won a fight against Matt Hamill many think he lost, razor-thin decision losses to Evans, Silva and Sonnen significantly derailed his career, at least in terms of fighting for a title.

The losses to Henderson and Sonnen hurt him the most, clearly, but what also may have held Bisping back a bit is his lack of one obviously dominant skill.

When the UFC was in need of challengers to fight Silva in 2010, it turned to Maia, a brilliant jiu-jitsu specialist. While few bought Maia as a legitimate threat to Silva, his jiu-jitsu alone was enough to make him enough of a threat that the bout was sell-able.

The same was true of Leites, who lost an uninspiring decision to Silva at UFC 97 but whose jiu-jitsu was good enough to make him a viable opponent.

Bisping doesn't have the dominant wrestling like Sonnen, or world-class jiu-jitsu like Maia, or the pulverizing punching power of someone like Chuck Liddell.

Bisping has become more known for his trash talk and taunts than for any specific skill, though he's developed into a surprisingly complete fighter. Those who questioned his wrestling prior to his fight against Sonnen had to re-evaluate it because even Sonnen wasn't able to take him down at will.

[Also: Daniel Cormier calls out Jon Jones after lackluster win]

Except against Henderson, Bisping was never outclassed and was in every fight he's ever taken.

One more win and it will get him the title shot he's long dreamed about, but in his mind, that won't be the summit.

"The whole point of this is not just to get a title shot," he said. "Who cares about that? The point of getting a title shot is to win the title. That's my only goal. I think I match up pretty well against Anderson, and I think in a lot of ways, Vitor is the perfect tune-up for me given his style.

"But if somehow it doesn't work out in that fight with Anderson, it's not like I'm going to say, 'Well, OK, that's it.' I'm going to go out and do what I've always done, which is look to fight the best guys I can fight and make myself better each time and win those fights and try to get back to the title. I'm about winning the title, not just getting a title shot."

More news from the Yahoo! Sports Minute:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Brian Kelly decides to forgo the NFL and stay at Notre Dame
Damian Lillard aims to make NBA All-Star team as rookie guard
White Sox '05 World Series ring for sale ... but whose?
Y! Movies: Jodie Foster makes stunning revelation in Globes speech

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Vitor Belfort vs. Gegard Mousasi in the Works for UFC 204

  • 28 days ago
  • 21 views

With Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson targeted as the UFC 204 headliner, a marquee match-up between Vitor Belfort and Gegard Mousasi is also in the works. read news >>

VIDEO: Luke Rockhold Believes an Anderson Silva Beatdown Puts Him Back at the Top

  • 22 days ago
  • 125 views

Luke Rockhold wants to get the UFC middleweight belt back, and he believes that a beatdown of Anderson Silva would put him right back in the thick of things. read news >>

Michael Bisping Announces Fight with Dan Henderson in Manchester

  • 20 days ago
  • 143 views

Though the UFC has yet to make it official, Michael Bisping took it upon himself to announce his title defense against Dan Henderson. read news >>

Michael Bisping Expects Dan Henderson to 'Cheat' in Reported Rematch at UFC 204

  • 20 days ago
  • 57 views

UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping is expecting Dan Henderson to “cheat” in their rumoured rematch. According to MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, Bisping will face the veteran on October 8 in a r read news >>

UFC Hall of Famer Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Carries Olympic Torch in Rio

  • 20 days ago
  • 194 views

From Yahoo Sports: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has long been considered one of the most respected fighters not only in the UFC, but in all of mixed martial arts. He has been a champion under both the Pr read news >>

UFC's Era of Money (and Moneyweight) Fights Has Begun, and There's No Going Back

  • 14 days ago
  • 23 views

Shortly after Michael Bisping realized his career-long goal of capturing the UFC middleweight championship, the question of who he might fight next followed. It is a simple and obvious one, almost ma read news >>

Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson II Announced: Latest Details and Reaction

  • 10 days ago
  • 49 views

Michael Bisping will put his UFC middleweight title on the line in his home town of Manchester against veteran Dan Henderson on October 8. The fight will headline UFC 204 and was confirmed by the UFC read news >>

UFC 204: Bisping vs. Hendo is Official; Includes Belfort vs. Mousasi and Struve vs. Magomedov

  • 10 days ago
  • 6 views

The all-but-confirmed UFC 204 headlining bout between Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson is now confirmed, as are several other UFC 204 bouts. read news >>

Watch the UFC 204: Bisping vs. Henderson 2 Press Conference Streaming Live at 5 PM ET

  • 6 days ago
  • 7 views

Watch as the stars of UFC 204, Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson, field questions from the media on Friday at 5 p.m. ET, live from Las Vegas. read news >>

UFC 204: Bisping vs. Henderson 2 Press Conference Video Replay

  • 6 days ago
  • 15 views

The headliners of UFC 204, Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson, fielded questions from the media on Friday in Las Vegas. read news >>