Bisping has beaten some good guys, plus a few lower level fighters but always struggles against the very top tier fighters.
He'll struggle now to get near a title shot again. A win would have certainly meant he earned a shot, but just like each time before he fell short. A win over Hendo, a win over Wandy, a win over Sonnen, a win over Belfort could all have put him in there with Anderson. But not to be.
Not meant as a knock as still had a solid career, but can't see where else he goes from here. Possibly this will see him in a gatekeeper type role as the UFC had really built this up as his big chance, really hyped up the idea of Bisping getting the next crack at Anderson.
As for the smack talking, personally i am all for it. At the end of the day it's a fight sports and at the end the two get to settle all differences in the cage!
I know i am not anyway close to a fraction of UFC level but in my last bout i myself got involved in the shit talking. Myself and the guy i was fighting had 2 previous fights fall through and also we were both told some bullshit about each other which motivated us more. I was extremely pumpped and to make sure it went ahead i went on an 8 week shit talking campaign and litteraly drug his name through the mud at every opportunity just so it motivated him to want to fight me more.
Come fight night we literally knocked fuck out of each other and put on fight ofthe night and unfortunatly i was on the wrong end of a TKO but i was still happy because i wanted the best from my opponent and i got it! I even went on record after the fight (i got MC Buddae Johnson to announce it) that he had earned my upmost respect and i'm happy to admit he was the better man on the night!
Anyway back to my point, Smack talk is awesome in our sport IMO so long as it doesn't go too far and IMHO is one of the things that makes this sport so awesome! obviously there is exceptions (personally i always thought Enty went too far) but so long as someone is willing to admit someone is the better man afterwards, just like Bisping did last night and i did after my fight, it just adds to the entertainment value.
Looking back at my own experience, a lot of people asked me if i regretted being a gob shite for 2 month but honestly, i'd do it all again just so i knew i was getting the best version of an opponent possible and they were motivated like hell to beat me!
As for Bisping i agree that he may never challenge for a UFC title. Where Kenny Florian is IMO the best fighter never to win a UFC title,Bisping, for me, will be remembered as the best fighter never to challenge for one.
I say Mike...
Take 9 months out, let John Jones move up to heavyweight - pack on some muscle and make a return to light heavy.
Bulk up that neck of yours and train with a dutch kickboxing team.
He's still one of the top middleweights and will continue to be around contention in the division, though he may never fight for the title. Belfort was always going to be a horrible match up for Mike and it ended as expected, though I'm suprised he kept getting caught with the head kick? Maybe it is something Vitor and his team worked on or Mike was too concerned with the fists rather than the feet.
Would like to see him fight Lombard or Belcher next. 2 fighters that are no where near as good as they and their fans think they are. I think Mike beats both.
I absolutely think Lombard is messy and liable for a good beating from somebody.
It would be real something for Bisping to return and beat Lombard but then it would be inevitable for Sherdog to implode and label Lombard as over-rated.
Bisping cannot win, no matter how much he wins. It's actually Mike vs all of USA when he fights.
In fact, I'd actually definitely give Bisping odds on to beat Lombard by work rate. He just doesn't throw any real bombs and isn't particularly fast from what I've witnessed.