March 2, 2016

UFC Fight Night 84: Michael Bisping's Win Over Anderson Silva Is the Most Valuable of His Career

By Raphael Garcia

There are a number of “moments” in a fighting career that spans twelve years and features 35 professional fights. Yet Michael Bisping earned his biggest win on Saturday when he earned a unanimous decision victory over Anderson Silva at UFC Fight Night 84. At 37 years of age, there are very few places he can go next, but it’s clear this win gives him more than he had before.

One major criticism has followed Bisping to this point: he consistently comes up short in the “big” fights. Looking back across his UFC tenure, there are a number of times where he was very close to a title shot, but found himself on the wrong end of a bout. Luke Rockhold, Tim Kennedy, Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson, and Rashad Evans all snatched away big wins from Bisping at one point in his career or another. And to make the matter even worse, they would all go on to big moments in their careers after defeating Bisping.

That left “The Count” standing on the outside of title contendership looking in. His popularity with fans, both in the UK and abroad, continued to grow, but he continued to come up short in the fights that would push him toward the title. He even acknowledged it leading into this bout:

"There's something I want to say, but I'm not sure if I want to say it because it kind of paints me in a bad picture," Bisping said as reported to Damon Martin of Fox Sports. "I've beaten a lot of great fighters, but people say the big ones, I've lost them all. I don't want to go down as a guy who loses his big fights. I'm going to win this fight; it's as simple as that. I don't want to go down as a guy who every time he had a big fight, he lost.”

That statement almost reared its ugly head in the third round when Bisping took a vicious knee strike right as the buzzer sounded. However, Herb Dean allowed the fight to continue, which gave Bisping the opportunity to cement the decision win over a fighter who many believe to be one of the greatest of all time. It doesn’t matter much that Silva is in the waning portions of his career, coming off of failed tests and injuries. This is still a win that will be one of the brightest spots in the Englishman’s career.

It doesn’t matter what is next for Bisping. With the way Rockhold handled him back at UFC Fight Night 55, very few would call for that rematch. There are other interesting fights available for Bisping, such as a rematch with Belfort or a fight against Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, but neither of those wins would command as much attention or glory as this win over Silva. Bisping’s next move is a question mark, but it’s clear that his win at UFC Fight Night 84 is the biggest exclamation point in his career.