(They don’t call him “Handsome Dan” for nothing. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)
Sherdog has confirmed that Michael Bisping‘s next opponent — and his rival coach on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter — will be the winner of the Rich Franklin/Dan Henderson fight at UFC 93 (January 17th; Dublin, Ireland). TUF‘s “U.S. vs. U.K.” season will feature middleweights and welterweights, and is slated to premiere in April ’09.
Though a win against either Ace or Hendo could qualify Bisping for an immediate title shot against Anderson Silva (or Patrick Cote, LOL) — and wins against Franklin and Bisping could earn Henderson a rematch with the Spider — you have to wonder what’s in it for Rich Franklin. Let’s say he becomes the U.S. coach for TUF 9. He’ll have to drop back down to middleweight to fight Michael Bisping at the end of the season, but if he beats Bisping, it’s not like he’ll move any closer to a third middleweight title shot against Silva. He’ll just return to 205, with his standing in that division no higher than it was in the first place. Could it be that Ace just needs another Hummer to auction off?