11-Year UFC veteran Michael Bisping took arguably the longest and most winding path of all UFC Champions when he KO'd Luke Rockhold back in June of 2016 to finally savour the taste of UFC gold. Since then, he has defended his title once, a re-match against old foe Dan Henderson which garnered backlash from his detractors.
From a practical sense though, few should
be able to morally withhold Bisping's opportunity for redemption over one of the most replayed knockouts in UFC history. Bisping got his redemption, for the record.
Next up for the Middleweight Champion is a partially maligned contest with returning pound-for-pound great Georges St-Pierre, not only a great contest on paper but a fantastic opportunity for Michael Bisping to finally earn alongside the upper echelons of the sport. That being said Bisping has always done alright in terms of earnings, being a fighter who has only featured lower down on cards than Co-Main on two occasions since 2009 (UFC 100 and UFC 186) his earnings have also reflected this lofty spot earned within the UFC. This time though he has a genuine opportunity to earn seven figures should the PPV do well on the night.
Like many issues, rumours and news updates surrounding 'The Count' there are always detractors it seems, in this instance a standstill within the Middleweight division being placed firmly on the square shoulders of the Champion. Bouts with Jacare, Mousasi, Romero, Rockhold, Whittaker and so on all being cried out from all corners, however I have my doubts any of said fights will come to fruition.
As long time Michael Bisping fans we have more or less been through the ringer and have seen it all, but how sweet an ending it has been. If there was ever any doubt whether it has all been worth it - just replay the punch that clocked Rockhold and brought everything full circle.
To conclude, all of the losses, devastating or not were part of the path Bisping needed to walk to reap a golden benefit and I suspect all of the cries for Middleweight justice have already fallen on deaf ears, win or lose against George St-Pierre I expect and hope to see Michael Bisping walk off into the Californian sunset he now calls home.