In a recent interview with Fighters Only, UFC president Dana White revealed that the next time Michael Bisping steps through the doors of the Octagon to compete, he will be staring across the cage at a top five opponent.
Let’s look at the simple deductive reasoning we used that helped us come to our conclusion:
Anderson Silva (1) is fighting Vitor Belfort (2) next in February and Bisping is at least a few fights away from a title shot, so it isn’t going to be either of them. Chael Sonnen (3) is out for at least a year unless he can convince CSAC on December 2 that a Mexican imposter gave his pre-fight urine sample. The chances that "The Count" is going to sit around waiting to fight him when he comes back are slim to none, so that eliminates him as well.
If you drop Sonnen from the top five, the only reasonable candidates to take his place on the list are Rousimar Palhares and Alan Belcher. One could argue that Belcher has beaten better quality opponents, earning him the nod for the number five slot, but since he is sidelined indefinitely with a serious eye injury, he won’t be fighting Bisping any time soon either.
So that leaves the two men Sonnen beat last year: Okami (4) and Marquardt (5). Dana has insinuted that the winner of the bout will likely get the winner of Belfort vs. Silva so the booby prize could very well be a cocky Brit.
We’ll likely know by year’s end who Bisping’s next foe will be, but when Dana announces that he will be fighting the loser of the Okami-Marquardt fight, remember who called it.